Friday, June 20, 2014

Longmorn 1969, 41 Year Old, Gordon & Macphail

I was shopping on Whiskybase a little while back and saw that this had become available, both as a full bottle and a sample. Now, I was never going to be able to try this in its regular large format (it was somewhere in the vicinity of 450 Euro, but long gone now so I cannot confirm that) but as a sample it offered a window into the whisky-past that I thought I couldn't turn down. Respect to the guys at Whiskybase for sample-bottling this kind of thing - just awesome.

I love a good Longmorn (though I don't much like a poor one, it must be said, but more on that another time) and this promised to be a ripper. So....

Longmorn 1969, 41 Year Old, Gordon & Macphail Reserve, for Van Weese, 59.4%

Nose: Undiluted and straight out of the (tiny) bottle it is a pure sherry bomb - chocolate, raisin and fruitcake. With water and some air, some lovely powdery tannins develop, melding beautifully with the heavily sherried fruit. Yet after even more time, some lighter fruits begin to emerge too - stonefruit, at first, but now tropical stuff, too, like mango and melon. Amazing.

Palate: Wow, massive. Mouth coating lusciousness. 42 years old! It's so vibrant. Plenty of that sherried fruit turns up, but it's never too heavy nor sickly sweet (or sulphury). Exceptional balance. On arrival there are immediate sweet fruits, which flood back and expand across the palate, becoming more sherry influenced as they reach the back of the palate and extend. Layers of fruit and texture reach out.

Finish: Nigh on pristine - the development is perfect. And fucking long. Remarkably, it's never bitter nor overtly syrupy, it's just a pure sherried, fruity, delight, astounding in its freshness and vitality. Delicious.

I don't think I've had a better whisky this year. 'Tis just a pity there was so little of it.

*I've realised much late (after reading MAO's review) that I had for some reason listed this as 42 YO when it is in fact a 41 YO - now fixed.

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