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Longmorn 15 Year Old

A divine intervention in your life

0 1396

@MagnusReview by @Magnus

5th Apr 2014

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    25
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    24
  • Overall
    96

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Do you know where Bulgaria is? That's right, folks, it is in Southeastern Europe. A former communist country. A relatively poor one as well. The Great Powers' whipping boy of the past. Some say, an underdeveloped country. Maybe these folks are eventually right from their own high chairs.

And do you know what one of the best parts of being born and living here is? That we are the last in Europe to experience the good stuff? Why is this good? Because, once something good is out of stock/production ceased in the West, there is a very good chance one can still find plenty of it here and not just in private collections, but sitting quietly on the shelves of some specialized shops and no one noticing it. Just like Longmorn 15 Year Old.

Longmorn 15 Year Old has been stopped off production some years ago and has been replaced with some abomination of a heir: the 16 Year Old, which is... let's say, a very prodigal son. It's incomparable to the good old 15 Year Old. I have ordered 3 bottles of the latter at €32 each three days ago. I have given away on of these to my colleague, who is also a connoisseur, even a fanatic of the good old single malts. These were the last three bottles in this shop, but maybe I could find some more. And I surely will. Why? Because it is simply divine. I love Speysiders, but this one is... Read on, my fellow "connosrs".

Hard sherry nose with omnipresent brandy feeling to it. Strong licorice and burnt toffee. Dark chocolate and cocoa. Sweet tobacco, old leather. A hint of citrus fruit bunch. Is it Gucci Classic perfume the thing that I have put my nostrils above? No, it is not. And thank God, because this dram is way better. Almost no spirit kick to the nostrils. In summary: a very fulfilling nose. Close to my perfection benchmark. Maybe it is even proudly sitting on it. Time will tell.

Palate: very complex, I dare to say: multidimensional. Sweet toffee and ripe morello, while the brandy feeling is still omnipresent, even glued to the inner cheek skin. Slight burn, that is threatening to deliver a lot on the finish. Some lemon juice, but sweetened with dark honey. Sweet roasted nuts. A hint of tangerine. White Eiswein. This body is thick and chewy. Not very smooth, which is the only palpable drawback for this one. But the taste is divine. It conquers all. I could compare it to other malts, even doctored, finished ones that I also quite like: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, Glenfarclas 105, but this competition they cannot win, not even hope to. The multidimensional feeling to this palate is humongous stuff, head and shoulders above everything else I've sipped.

Finish: more morello and raisins from white grapes. Very slowly fading, wearing a lemon dress. A very palpable brandy feeling and warmth all the way. It is strong, very strong, but the burn is smooth and gentle. The curtains are falling, but slowly, gently and leaving you wanting nothing. Except another Glencairn, containing this potion. It's a God's gift.

If you can lay your dirty, callous hands on a bottle of Longmorn 15, do not hesitate. It will melt your heart and leave you a better person. They do not make them like this anymore. Sadly. And the best part for me? That I have another bottle stored deeply. Some friends of mine asked me if I mind selling. But I cannot sell my heart. So I will just keep it. The selfish me! But I am just a man, not a God, right?

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13 comments

broadwayblue commented

Is this the best whisky you've ever tasted? I don't think I've ever seen a score of 96 before! I have a 20 year old Longmorn in my cabinet and after reading this review I'm definitely looking forward to it.

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I've got two unopened bottles of the 15. Thanks for reminding me how good they will be!

5 years ago 0

@Magnus
Magnus commented

broadwayblue, thank you for the comment. In short, yes, sir, this one, along with some of the Kavalans, are the best single malts, according to my taste buds/nostrils/experience. In order to put it into perspective, I have tried quite a lot of malts, although not over 1000, as some fellow connosrs have (you, lucky ones!). For further understanding of my position, you should know that I adore brandy/cognacs, as well as the good sip of bourbon/rye. This might give you an insight, as per to why I rate this Longmorn 15 so high and why I'm that exalted about it. Because it: a/ is the best whisky I have tried; b/ is so good to my own taste, that has been formed by another drinks I have liked very much through all these 37 years.

I personally do not rate the Islays/heavily peated ones as much as I rate the Speysiders/Highlanders. But tastes change. I will maybe like peats much more in 10 years. But even if I do, I will still rate THIS Longmorn 15 THAT high. Because divinity is universal. And this is why I have given such a high mark. I have not tried the 20 Year Old expression, but I will do so, no question about that, and I hope it comes at least close or, why not - even better than Longmorn 15.

I hope you didn't get mightily bored. :)

Rigmorole: good for you, mate! Keep'em close to the heart or share some of them with friends when that special moment arrives.

5 years ago 0

@phoenix
phoenix commented

I did a review on the 15 some while ago and I of the same opinion. Review was called "Gone but not forgotten". It is a fabulous dram and still rates at the top of my favs list, only just equalled by the latest Glenlivet Guardians Chapter 2014, which another one of those flawless drams one comes across every few years. I've just put a review of that one up last week.

Very good and thoughtful review Magnus, well done and gratz on discovering a hidden gem.

5 years ago 0

Taco commented

I actually had a bottle of the 16 several years ago and found it to be a very good whisky, but overpriced at about $90. Later I ran across 3 bottles of the 15 for about $38 each. They have certainly been worth the price I paid (I have one left), but I don't think it is noticeably better than the 16, just different. In fact, I probably wouldn't think they were the same spirit one year apart on a blind taste test. Did they change the type of casks?

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Yes, I tasted this one at the Stillhouse pub and loved it. When I found out it was already rare, snatched up two bottles. I've been sitting on them like a mother hen.

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Taco's $38 deal is insane. What a find. I have tasted the 16. To me, there is a night and day difference between the earlier 15 and the 16.

5 years ago 0

@Magnus
Magnus commented

phoenix, thank you for your kind comment. Of course I have read your review on 15, before I posted mine. There are not too many for this one whatsoever, so it was my pleasure.

Taco, you pose a very intriguing topic: the batch variations. I guess these are one of the main reasons behind the polarized opinions on the same brand amd age of whisky. There are plenty of examples even on this wonderful site. Look up Jura Superstition or, even better, the Dalmores - they polarize a lot. And, apart of the differences in taste, I guess that batch variations sit behind this phenomenon.

rigmorole, your second comment says it very straight: the 15 wins by a mile.

5 years ago 0

Taco commented

Batch variation in the 16 may well be the reason many do not like the 16. The bottle I had was 2009, which was also highly rated by Serge (88). The head of the local whisky club also found it quite good. However, earlier and later years have been rated very mediocre (79 & 80) by Serge. If you can find that 2009 bottle, it might be one to purchase. I'd still like to know what they did to make it so different from the 15 (and apparently year to year?). Got to be the casks.

5 years ago 0

@Magnus
Magnus commented

Well, perhaps this explains it further: as far as I recall, I have bought and drank my 16 Year Old expression back then in 2007 or 2008 and it disappointed bitterly. So maybe it is time for me to give it another shot in the future, given the fact that maybe there are less likely "earlier" bottles of the 16 Year Old to be left at the retailers?

5 years ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

Wow! This review makes me want to go and get one. Found some over at TWE for the laughable price of 99GBP - if you think it's worth it I'll pick it up.

5 years ago 0

@Magnus
Magnus commented

@MaltActivist, I guess the price will only go up, as the stocks run out, so I'd say that for 99GBP today this dram is still cheaper than it will be tommorrow. I cannot tell if I would give a 99 GBP though, because we do not live in the same country/may have a different lifestyle each.

Now, if it was free and you had to chose between this bottle and a bottle of any other whisky, I would advise you to move for The Longmorn 15 YO. But since there is some hard-earned money involved... I would suggest the following calculation. My bottles of Longmorn 15 YO have costed me 32 EUR each and I have had to work hard for around 2.5 hours to earn these "monies". In pincipal I would be happy if I had to work up to 6 hours to be able to afford a bottle of Longmorn 15 YO or any other of my top-favorite drams. This is my top dollar for whisky (but here in Bulgaria alcohol is relatively cheaper, mind!). I value mi time very much so actually I wouldn't buy any dram costing more than the amount of my 6 hour-compensation. For the Longmorn 15 YO I would pay a sum, equaling to 6 hours, yes, if I had to. Your "hours-for-dram" output may be a lot different, so take yours! :)

Now, since you haven't tried the Longmorn 15 YO and may have a different taste, you may want to lower your top dollar, derived using the above equation (if it makes sense to you!), down by some 20% just to cover for the risks, stated above. If thus put the whole operation makes sense to you - do not hesitate. I do not think you'll be sorry for that. And if you decide buy it and try it, I'm begging you to drop me a line or tag me, when you issue the review (I have read many of yours here), so I could read your thoughts on this favorite little unfashionable dram, that is no longer, alas, produced. I hope you are not disappointed! Cheers!

5 years ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

@Magnus finally managed to get one and taste it! Lovely dram. Well worth the hype I suppose, though, I suspect you like it a bit more than I do.

I'll be posting my review soon! Thanks for the introduction to this lovely whisky!

4 years ago 0

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