In December I reviewed an ancient Longmorn bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for van Wees in the Netherlands. I gave that one, a 42 yo distilled in 1969, 95 points, my highest score yet. That one was from a series of single first fill sherry casks which also included one from 1964, one from 1966, one from 1968 and one from 1972—all bottled together in 2011.
Somehow these bottles have stuck around for almost four years. How this came to be I don’t quite understand, but as of now word seems to be fully out on them and the few stores that still have bottles have raised the prices dramatically. This increase has apparently come down from van Wees, who seem to be belatedly trying to make money on a series they had trouble selling out at the initial lower prices (that or they held some stock back in the hopes that they’d eventually be able to charge a lot more). Continue reading →
Gordon & MacPhail have a Mortlach 15 and a Mortlach 21 in fairly regular release and I’ve always been very curious about both. I’ve never pulled the trigger on a purchase both because I’ve heard inconsistent things about both bottlings (and there’s no year of release or batch number clearly marked) and because the prices I’ve seen have always seemed a little high for non-cask strength indie releases. Accordingly, when this 21 yo went on sale in Minneapolis last year I finally went for it. I opened it as the lead whisky in a tasting of older malts with my local group late last year and while it was no one’s favourite it put on a decent show in the company of some higher powered malts (including this Archives Bunnahabhain and this Scott’s Selection Glen Grant).
I sat down with it later for a formal review. Herewith, my findings (these notes were taken more than a month ago—the bottle itself is long gone). Continue reading →
This is the the oldest Longmorn I’ve yet tasted. I referred to it in my review of the 1968-2004 from Scott’s Selection as probably the last Longmorn of this age and era that I will get to taste. This one is from Gordon & Macphail and was bottled for van Wees in the Netherlands. I couldn’t spring for a full bottle but also couldn’t resist paying for two 20 ml samples when the good people of Whiskybase made them available. As the samples were not themselves cheap I hope this one will live up to the standards of the other ancient Longmorns I’ve had.
I think this one might be different though from the others of its age/era that I’ve tasted in that it’s from a first fill sherry butt. I don’t believe the G&M 40, 1971 (the previous oldest Longmorn I’ve had) was from first fill sherry, and I don’t believe any of the Scott’s bottles are either (Scott’s Selection, of course, very rarely specified the type of cask their releases were from). Continue reading →