Whisky Connosr

Longmorn 15 Year Old

A lovely extinct Speysider...

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@hunggarReview by @hunggar

19th Mar 2014


Longmorn 15 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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The Longmorn 15 has something of a cult following ever since the distillery did away with their 15 year old in favour of a 16 year old. I’ve never tried the 16 yo, but I’m told by more than a few people that it’s a lesser whisky. Now the 15 is already phased out completely, so it’s only through good luck that my friend happened upon a bottle of 15 yo selling for about $50 CAD at a small mom and pop shop. I imagine the owners were selling the bottle at the original price it held when they first got it in, and didn’t know that this has since become an absolute treasure for collectors. When my friend tried it, he absolutely loved it. I was quite curious myself, so he kindly offered me a 100 ml sample to try. Here are my notes.

Nose: Grassy and malty. Lovely crisp fruit notes, mostly apples, pears, and citrus. There are also floral notes, toffee, vanilla and honey. If neat, you’ll find more toffee and orange notes. Not overly complex, but pleasant and inviting.

Palate: This is a creamy whisky. Citrus and lemongrass greet us first. Crème brulée, ginger, violet, lavender, nuts, cinnamon, sherry, licorice, white wine vinegar, marzipan, and a picnic basket full of red apples. Sweet and floral with some big, tingly wood spices worked in.

Finish: Once we get past the explosion of spices, the finish is very much a continuation of the palate. The floral flavours continue, as does the oakiness. Finally there’s grass, malt, baking spices, orange rind, and vanilla to round out the medium-long finish. Sampled neat, you’ll find more oak, burnt toast, milk chocolate and oats. Overall it’s an interesting, drying, and spicy finish

This is good. With some classic Speyside flavours and very pleasant grass and floral notes, this is initially very approachable. The grassiness in particular is quite unique. But this whisky isn’t without edge. There are big spices here and a certain astringency that may not be to everyone’s liking. It’s a standard Speysider with a few extra quirks. Best without water, in my opinion. This was a fun one to try. Grab it if you see it.

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Pandemonium commented

The whole 15yo vs 16yo story is quite odd, haven't tried the 15yo yet, but I cannot understand why leaving a malt to mature for one more year in its cask would fundamentally change the flavour and make it inferior to its younger brother. The 16yo has a higher alcohol percentage, so they probably did not change the flavour by diluting the whisky too much. So changes in the distillation process, change in quality of the ingredients or the barrels? Or is it just bias from the connoisseurs?

10 years ago 0

hunggar commented

@Pandemonium: I'm curious about that myself. I'd imagine given the almost unanimous preference for the 15 that the difference is in the production. Having only tasted the 15, I can attest to the fact that the wood notes are very distinctive. Maybe the quality of the casks changed? That's just speculation.

Of course we connoisseurs are a fickle bunch, aren't we? As soon as something old gets replaced with something new we're always throwing hissy fits. If/When I try the 16 I'll be sure to include a comparison in my review.

10 years ago 0