SMWS 7.116 “It’s good to arrive” (Longmorn 29) Review

This is a 29 year Longmorn from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that was distilled in 1985 and aged in an refill ex-bourbon hogshead and bottled at 58.5% ABV.

Nose: Very musty malt with notes of pine up front – pears, peaches, strawberries, and wax candies develop shortly after. Crushed mint leaves and french vanilla show up as it sits a bit longer.

Palate: Great thick and oily mouthfeel – earthy malt bolstered by strawberry jolly ranchers, cantaloupe, and faint notes of heather.

Finish: Vanilla, honey, and black pepper.

Rating: 88/100 – A solid older Longmorn that doesn’t rely on heavy sherry influence to shine.

Value for the money: This one came out a couple years ago, and I don’t remember what it cost at release when we split it, but I’d venture to guess based on typical pricing this was probably around $240 or so. I wouldn’t want to buy a full bottle at that price.

Longmorn 22 (Signatory Vintage TWE Selection 1992/2014 Cask #48488) Review

This is a TWE Selection 22 year Longmorn matured in an ex-sherry hogshead and bottled at 51.4% ABV.

Nose: Loads of spices with a lot of black pepper – dark chocolate covered cherries, fairly heavy oak, and almond extract.

Palate: Oak is heavy here again with muddled fruits and cocoa in background – the sherry influence is minimal and the palate seems rather closed off.

Finish: Bananas and bitter cocoa notes linger.

Rating: 83/100 – I had high hopes for this one as it was quite dark – I was expecting more of a sherry bomb, but the sherry is very tempered/minimal. Tastes much older than 22 years and not in a good way.

Value for the money: I think this was around $175-200 delievered from TWE and I would not buy again at that price.

Longmorn 42 (G&M Reserve 1969/2011 Cask #5294) Review

This is a 42 year Longmorn that was matured in a first fill sherry cask and bottled in 2011 at 59.4% ABV.

Nose: Thick, meaty sherry with a cloud of oak and old, worn leather hanging over. Blueberry pie emerging after a bit alongside fresh ground pepper.

Palate: Tart berries up front before a blend of sherry and oak explode across the palate. Musty yet slightly sweet with pepper tossed toasted walnuts.

Finish: Vanilla and toffee notes develop as oak becomes bitter and tannic.

Rating: 88/100 – The oak is a bit overbearing on the palate/finish throwing it out of balance for me. Still very nice overall.

Value for the money: It looks like this originally retailed around €425 or so, and that’s not a terrible price for a 42 year malt, but I wouldn’t buy this particular bottle for that much.

Longmorn 36 (The Perfect Dram 1975/2011) Review

This is a 36 year old Longmorn bottled as part of The Whisky Agency’s Perfect Dram series. It was matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead before being bottled at 50.6% ABV.

Nose: Blueberries with cinnamon and honey drizzled over quark with big vanilla notes. Bourbon style profile with strong oak influence and overly ripe bananas.

Palate: Oak is dominant with floral malt and lavender. Golden raisins and figs round out a fruity and airy palate.

Finish: Charred oak and sweetened malt last forever with acidic green grapes and delicate berries.

Rating: 94/100 – The best Longmorn I’ve tried to date and one of my favorite drams.

Value for the money: I believe I acquired this around a $400 valuation which isn’t too bad for a malt of this caliber.

Longmorn 20 (Berry’s cask 71735) Review

This is a 20 year Longmorn that was aged in what I presume to be ex-bourbon casks and bottled by Berry’s at 55.6% ABV.

Nose: Oak with sweet berries with intense vanilla developing overall. Some mint notes after awhile, but overall strikes me as very similar to a bourbon nose.

Palate: Berries and vanilla fade somewhat as the heat dials up. Plenty of spice arriving on the rear palate.

Finish: Short and dry – oak lingers with a bit of spice.

Rating: 84/100 – Finish is a bit of a letdown but overall a pleasant Longmorn.

Value for the money: This was $99 at Total Wine and I think that price is pretty fair for a 20  year expression.