Longmorn

Longmorn 57 Years Old 1961 Cask #508 (45%, Gordon & MacPhail, 97 Bottles, 2018)

Longmorn 57 Years Old 1961 Cask #508

Whisky Review

  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Longmorn distillery
  • Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Private Collection
  • ABV: 45%
  • Cost: £30,000 twin set with Cask #512

Longmorn 1961 Decanters 508 and 512

What they say

On 2 February 1961, George Urquhart commissioned a filling of first fill Sherry casks at the Longmorn Distillery, on the outskirts of Elgin, his home town.

Both whiskies began life with inherently the same DNA. The only difference between the two being the species of oak: Cask 508 was made from European Oak (Quecus Robur) while Cask 512 was built using American Oak (Quercus Alba).

Over the next 57 years, the whiskies gradually evolved and now exhibit distinctly different flavour profiles.

“For much of our lives, Stuart and I have shared similar environments, growing up together, sharing a flat while attending the same university, sailing competitively as a team, and now working under the same roof. It’s intriguing to see how our individual characters, much like the whiskies, have diverged despite the similarities.”

Selected by Richard Urquhart, International Sales Manager (Asia & the Americas)

  • DISTILLED 2nd February 1961
  • BOTTLED 2nd February 2018
  • AGED 57 Years
  • CASK TYPE First fill Sherry European Oak hogshead
  • STRENGTH 45.0% ABV
  • NUMBER OF DECANTERS 97 released for sale worldwide

Official tasting notes by Richard Urquhart:

  • COLOUR A beautiful mahogany with red highlights.
  • AROMAS Sweet aromas of heady rum and raisin intermingle with distinctive marzipan; hints of dark orange chocolate follow. Fresh and lingering notes of crushed mint in a pestle mix with notes reminiscent of our old wooden teak deck. The nose of this Longmorn has a lovely and delectably intense fruitiness, softened only slightly by hints of vanilla pods and thick sticky treacle.come to the fore, underscored by distinctive charred oak. Fruity aromas, red cherry, raisin, and orange peel, develop – graceful highlights resulting from fifty-seven years of Sherry cask maturation. Towards the end, the base notes are sweet and lingering, hints of maple syrup and almonds, almost marzipan like, add depth.
  • FLAVOURS The initial flavours of this ultra-aged Longmorn are quite captivating and comforting: dry-roasted coffee notes infuse with dark chocolate and hazelnuts balanced perfectly by delectably sweet marzipan. Zesty orange peel transforms into a mouth-coating creaminess; dry fruits and dates weave pleasantly with the smooth butter notes. Mouth-warming chilli spice prickles the palate evolving into lingering cracked black pepper notes.rounded, rich, as they combine and mature into tropical fruit flavours – ripe banana and kiwi included. The bitter decadence of dark chocolate adds a fascinating depth. This Longmorn is intricately layered, as the robust sweetness dissipates, a grounding earthiness comes to the fore with the lightest of touches of distinctive coriander and lingering hints of peat smoke in the background.
  • FINISH Smooth, creamy, and satisfying. The incredible Longmorn spirit has developed nicely in the European Oak Sherry cask; the marriage of the two stays with you, for a long time, with an enjoyably fruity finish.and enjoyed before taking the next sip.
  • WITH WATER The warming spice is mellowed and the creaminess becomes more pronounced. The malt is sweeter, more defined fruit notes, really bringing out more of the Sherry hogshead’s influences. The orange peel notes have mellowed slightly, while milk chocolate and cocoa become more prominent, and then, to finish it off, hints of coffee.The palate is softer now; the vivid fruitiness has matured into ripe banana, summer peach, and plump and juicy raspberry. There is an underlying vanilla pod intricacy throughout.

What I say

Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail for the samples of these Twin Longmorn casks.

Cask #508 a 1st fill ex-Sherry cask made from European Oak, filled in 1961 and bottled 2018 at 45%. European Oak tends to have a rougher grain, be more tannic, more porous and carry a darker wood colour – dependent upon growing conditions of the tree. Assuming identical maturation conditions I would have expected this cask to yield lower ABV or suffer from more evaporative loss than the American Oak cask.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Much redder / pure Ruby (16/20), oily, medium-large tears and thick legs.
  • Nose: A deep fruity sherry aroma, ripe strawberry and the sweetness of bubblegum, cherry drop boiled sweets, raisin, dried fruit; cherry, strawberry, blackcurrant, sugary molasses, dark fruit preserve, dark coffee and chocolate, a touch rubbery.
  • Taste: Sharper than the nose, less fruity and much more woody, a little spiced, leathery, tannic, quite closed and challenging, with water more spiced chilli and black pepper add to the woody oak and overly tannic black tea.
  • Finish: Long, bitter, pepper and a little petrol-like.

Overall

Great nose, and a wonderful experience to try such an old Longmorn, but, the contrast between the nose and palate is too great. Far too over-oaked for my palate, too spicy, bitter and harsh. Masses of or practically liquid/distilled European Oak wood didn’t make for a pleasurable drinking experience. Water made it more spicy and tannic, something this whisky didn’t lack. A lesson in wood.

Score 63/100

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