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Inspired by some recent reviews of Longmorn, as well as the high reputation of Signatory, I thought I’d give this 19 yo IB a try. As many probably know, OB’s of Longmorn are rare, as it’s a malt used primarily in blends (especially Chivas). It would seem that Signatory, and other IB’s, must have raided the Longmorn warehouses back in ’92, as it’s one of the most ubiquitous years for Longmorn bottlings.
Signatory has released annual bottlings of ’92 Longmorn for a few years. This review is of bottle #214 of 329, cask #48480, bottled on September 8, 2011. For such a limited release, it really gets around! I’ve seen it available on websites from New York and California stores, and a few even found their way to the shelves of the local libationist here in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Nose: Very pleasant and reasonably complex, if surprisingly mild. Old bananas and creamy vanilla dominate, with some citrus, floral tones, and a teensy touch of peat underneath. There’s also an aroma of something unique and very personal: my dog. (Oliver, my big lazy yellow Lab, is upstairs snoring away at the moment, so his odor is not in the room.) Nothing wrong with a whiff of my buddy in the mix, as far as I’m concerned. Again, however, it’s a mild nose. There’s much going on, but quietly so.
Palate: A terrific bang of a sweet, fruity arrival that continues to grow in the development. What was mild on the nose is now the life of the party. Let this one sit in your mouth a loooong time and some warm, rich butterscotch and toffee emerge. There’s also tart apples and lots of bourbon cask influence. (And no dog.)
After such a buildup, it’s a shame that the finish is a bit of a letdown. It’s dry, chalky, and short, although it does provide some balance to the sweetness that came before. Nevertheless, the palate led me to expect a rich finish of creamy sweetness and wood, rather than little more than plain tea and neutrality.
It’s a fine whisky nonetheless, with plenty of enjoyable and ever-evolving layers. If the finish had been on par with the rest of the experience, I would have scored this one well into the 90s.