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?
This is a good whisky, but not the great one some people say (at least to me). Your 84 is a reasonable rating, and I'd probably go 85, so we are basically in agreement there. I'm not sure it is 100% sherry barrels, as I get a bit of bourbon barrel accents, but could be 2nd fill sherry barrels. I had the 16 several years back, and found it also good (86ish), but totally different to the 15 and wayyyyy too expensive, so I never bought it again. Now they up the ante, price wise, and I'll never even look at their bottles.