Longmorn

Longmorn 57 Years Old 1961 Cask #512 (40.8%, Gordon & MacPhail, 97 Bottles, 2018)

Longmorn 57 Years Old 1961 Cask #512

Whisky Review

  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Longmorn distillery
  • Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Private Collection
  • ABV: 40.8%
  • Cost: £30,000 twin set with Cask #508

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.

“As someone whose day-job is applying the family’s knowledge of how to match spirit with the perfect cask, the nuances of our Longmorns, distilled 57 years ago, were especially intriguing.”

Selected by Stuart Urquhart, Associate Director, Whisky Supply

  • DISTILLED 2nd February 1961
  • BOTTLED 2nd February 2018
  • AGED 57 Years
  • CASK TYPE First fill Sherry American Oak hogshead
  • STRENGTH 40.8% ABV
  • NUMBER OF DECANTERS 97 released for sale worldwide

Official tasting notes by Stuart Urquhart

  • COLOUR Rich Mahogany.
  • AROMAS The nose on this intricate and well-aged Speysider is quite complex yet well balanced. Initially, notes of subtle vanilla 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 Surprisingly fresh and lively initially for an ultra-aged Sherry-matured single malt. Bitter orange and lemon become more 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 Substantial! Charred oak, dark chocolate, and orange peel linger. A fascinating, smooth finish. One to be pondered and enjoyed before taking the next sip.
  • WITH WATER The sweet almond aromas are now truly marzipan; burnt melting sugar combines with a touch of cooked apple. 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 #512 a 1st fill ex-Sherry cask made from American Oak, filled in 1961 and bottled 2018 at 40.8%.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Golden bronze with ruby highlights (14/20), medium-large tears with thick legs.
  • Nose: Floral, woody, polished antique oak, green and toasted coconut, green and woody herbs, smoked almonds.
  • Taste: Woody, fruity cherry, blackberry, date, fig, coffee grounds, tobacco leaf, neutral-sweet and medium-bodied, earthy, tannic, dark chocolate. With water; fruity without being sweet; kiwi and green banana and a touch of citrus lemon and orange are added into a slightly smoother and creamier mixture.
  • Finish: Medium-long, menthol, eucalyptus, herbal, sweeter and fruitier with water like medicated cherry drops.

Overall

More closed on the nose, this one rewarded a little more fruit on the palate but again another Cask-heavy wood-centric expression that sadly could have come from any number of distilleries. Once again no hint of Longmorn here. Despite the big numbers on these casks I found both more than a little disappointing. Perhaps I had set my expectations far too high, yet I have had other G&M old or even very old whiskies that have been simply sublime. Of the two casks this one was definitely more palateable.

Score 79/100

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