I’ve been a long term fan of Longmorn and to be offered the opportunity to sample their relaunched range of whiskies with their experts was something I couldn’t turn down. The Speyside distillery has a long history having been founded by John Duff and a group of businessmen in 1894. Longmorn have a strong reputation and are known as every master blenders or distillery manager’s second favourite whisky, with their favourite being their own. A lot of the whisky produced at the Longmorn distillery goes into Chivas blends, including some of their premium blends such as Chivas Regal and Royal Salute. It has not been as widely available as other whiskies, although there have been some great releases from independent bottlers.
We started the night with some old fashioned cocktails made with Longmorn Distiller’s Choice, which is the entry level whisky of the range. I didn’t try it on its own, but it made a darn fine cocktail. Distillery Manager Trevor Buckley was on hand to talk us through the night. When someone is passionate about what they do it really shows and Trevor took us through what makes Longmorn so great, as well as sharing some stories from his years in the business. Longmorn is boutique range of single malts and there is a lot of traditional methods that go into crafting their whiskies.
We then got to the serious business of whisky tasting, starting with the 16 year old. This was a good solid whisky, the nose was quite fruity a
nd reminded me of apple orchards. There is a sweetness there as well on the nose, which was brought out more with a touch of water. This is a smooth whisky and there is vanilla and citrus fruit there. There is also a slight spiciness and perhaps a bit of white pepper. I preferred it with a touch of water, which made it sweeter and smoother. It had a good finish that was long and satisfying. It’s great to see this is bottled at 48% and really packs a punch. It retails around £90 and would be at home in my drinks cabinet as one of those whiskies I bring out for those friends who appreciate a quality dram.
We then moved onto the Longmorn 23 year old, also bottled at 48%. This is the jewel in their crown and a launch into the premium whisky market. This was richer on the nose than the 16 year old with vanilla and honey, as well as deep Christmas cake fruitiness. I was very impressed with how smooth this whisky is and it was a very pleasurable dram. There was fruit and vanilla fudge in there for me, with a slight spiciness. I added a touch of water and it brought out the chocolate notes. There is a great finish on this whisky, it was long and satisfying with both sweet and spicy notes lingering on the palette. The whisky retails at £450, so might be beyond some budgets. For those that can stretch that far I can see it being a great whisky to toast a special occasion with.
I was very impressed with the range from Longmorn, they have something at every price point. They haven’t got the wide range of some brands, but for those looking to hunt out a premium whisky to share with friends I am sure you won’t be disappointed.