Back in 2011 Gordon & MacPhail (who else) bottled five ancient Longmorns for their Dutch importer van Wees. Some of them from the 1960s, others from the 1970s. Today I’m celebrating my birthday with a 1966 vintage.
Wait a second, I just said ancient Longmorn and now it turns out this whisky is in fact younger than me!
Longmorn 44 yo 1966 (44,3%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Reserve’ for van Wees 2011, first-fill sherry butt #5063, 283 btl.)
Nose: stewed plums and dates, with hints of Spanish fig bread, followed by honey and bright hints of cassis. Dark Oloroso and tobacco, as well as walnuts and coffee. Quite reduced, with a subtle meaty touch in the distance. More herbal than sweet. Then again there’s also an ethereal herbal layer, with menthol adding freshness. More than a hint of (rustic) cognac rancio too. Great start.
Mouth: a lot of figs and dates again, with a big mentholated side, as well as ginger. Blackberries appear with black peppercorns. I also pick up sour cherries and echoes of ripe tropical fruits (pink grapefruit), but they don’t come out entirely. Sourness is key to a great sherry bottling in my opinion. Hints of cola and polished leather, with fragrant herbs. Fudge and soy sauce too. Overall it’s slightly thinner than expected, but the freshness is impressive.
Finish: medium length and quite sappy, on liquorice, berry tea, with a light woody sourness.
A lovely nose but slightly less complex on the palate. The wood is not overpowering in my opinion, and very likeable overall. That said, better versions exist from this era. Let’s not be picky though, I wish I bought a bottle back then. Still available from Whiskysite.nl (also samples) and The Whisky Exchange for instance.