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Longmorn SMWS 7.198 "Sweet Summer Berries"

As Simple As 24 yo Whisky Gets, Neat

6 384

@VictorReview by @Victor

27th Mar 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I give my deep thanks to @bwmccoy for the reviewed sample. SMWS 7.198 is a 24 yo Longmorn matured in a refill bourbon barrel. It was distilled 20 May 1993. 198 bottles total were produced

As water-added effects go, this whisky offers some of the most extreme contrasts I have observed

Nose: I gave the whisky 24 minutes to breathe prior to sampling. Yes, berries!!! They named this one well. Raspberries are the dominant flavour, but you can find some strawberry here as well. Sweet? Yes, that too, very gently so, a light sweetness almost like a little bit of stevia was added. Not much else is here to note. This is pleasant, understated, gentle, and rather simple. Water added gives more dimension to the wood flavours. This is very nice with water added. Score: 21/25 neat; 22/25 with water added

Taste: there is much more intensity in the mouth than in the nose, with a crispness and tingly quality not present in the nose. Neat, this remains very berry, and rather simple. Sourness emerges mid-palate. Water added: like the nose, brought wood flavours to the fore and de-emphasized the berries. This is a different whisky altogether with water added. Score: 22/25 neat; 22.5/25 with water added

Finish: neat, SMWS 7.198 stays tingly and simple medium-long. Then the sweetness leaves and this finishes sour. Water added reduces the sourness and improves the finish. A fuller range of wood flavours are what you taste with water added. Score: 20/25 neat; 21/25 with water added

Balance: tasted neat, pleasant and simple sums it up. Not a great finish neat. Water added gives an interesting alternative reality to experience. Score: 21/25

Total Sequential Score: 84 points neat; 86.5 points with water added

Strength: understated in the nose; fully adequate in the mouth. Score: 21.5/25

Quality: the grain is not much in evidence; the berry flavours are likely from the yeast used. With water added, good flavours from wood dominate. Score: 21.5/25

Variety: minimal variety neat; more with water added. Score: 20/25

Harmony: neat, good harmony on nose and palate; only fair harmony on the finish. Water added gives good harmony in all phases. Score: 20/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 83 points


Comment: can 24 year old whisky be quite simple? YES If you like the berries a lot, then you like SMWS 7.198 neat. There really isn't anything else here to taste. Until you add water...then you get something completely different with SMWS 7.198. This is a very interesting Jekyll and Hyde effect

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bwmccoy commented

@Victor - Thanks also for this review. Unfortunately, this is the only review (so far), that our ratings weren't as close as the others. I gave this one a 90. Wish I had more to re-try it to see if I would give the same score again.

3 years ago 0

Victor commented

@bwmccoy it is always good to sample and re-sample whiskies. You have had more opportunities to observe this whisky than I have, so I am always interested in reviewing whiskies to see if later perceptions are similar to the initial ones. All observations are subject to reconsideration and revision.

I don't find or expect it to be common for personal taste to be close between different persons. From what you have said so far, it sounds like your take on various Scottish whiskies is closer to my own than I would consider typical. If I were to put a number to it, I find most people's taste to correlate with mine to be about 4 or 5 on a 10 scale. 6 is a high number on this scale. 8 is about as high as I have ever seen. Preliminary comments, with a very small number of evaluations made to compare to date, would put the correlation at around 6 or 7, from what I've seen. That's pretty high, though based on a small sample size, and limited primarily to samples from the genre of Scottish malt. Closeness in matters of taste is certainly not a condition of friendship for me. Thanks again for providing me all of these nice samples!.

3 years ago 3Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor I concur. I find my taste in Scottish and Irish malt whiskey is close to @talexander and my taste in bourbon is close to @Nozinan I don’t think my own preferences in Canadian whisky are any closer than a 6 to anyone else here. But that’s the fun of all this discussion. How boring would this hobby be if we all sat around (virtually or in person) saying “mmmm, yes, most excellent...yes, quite agreeable....mmmm indeed, yes” (that’s me affecting a highbrow English accent)

3 years ago 2Who liked this?

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