Longmorn is one of the Scotch whisky blenders' favourite malts, used as a ‘top dresser’ for adding something special to their blends, and it’s best known in the wider world as one of the key components of the Chivas Regal range of blended whiskies. However, there’s much more to Longmorn than its modern incarnation.
As a single malt, it has developed a cult following among whisky aficionados as a hidden treasure of Speyside, especially the older vintages from its golden years – whiskies distilled between the mid-1960s and early 1970s.
In this class we dive deep into the flavours of Longmorn to discover what makes the distillery’s older whiskies so special. We’re tasting across different vintages, bottlers and maturation casks, but with a constant leitmotif: the omnipresent rich but elegantly fruity flavour that is the trademark of the spirit distilled in this era. This line-up will show you why many whisky fans hold the secret of how amazing Longmorn is close to their chests.
Show founders Sukhinder Singh, Jonny McMillan and Angus MacRaild will be joined by The Whisky Exchange ambassador Billy Abbott, Old and Rare Spirits Manager Diego Lanza and catawiki's whisky expert Jeroen Koetsier.
Longmorn 10 Year Old Hill Thompson, bot.1960s, 43%.
Angus MacRaild – When we think of the great Longmorns today, we tend to focus on the 1960s' and early 70s' single casks bottled at great ages. I've always adored this bottling because it illustrates the young Longmorn distillate in all its naked, fruit-driven, mineral glory. A brilliant example of whisky making and the perfect demonstration of how brilliant Longmorn can be in youth as well as maturity.
Longmorn 1970 Berry Brothers, bot.1998, 43%
Jonny McMillan – My day job buying casks for Berry Bros & Rudd has given me a thirst to seek out some of our older bottlings, and I've been after this Longmorn for a while. The bottling is invitingly dark, showing its sherry maturation and I think old-style Longmorn works amazing well against powerful fresh sherry casks. Lucious, rich and chewy – I think this is one of BB&R's finest bottlings from the 1990s.
Longmorn 1970 36 Year Old Single Malts of Scotland, 56.1%
Sukhinder Singh – I started seeking out Longmorn after I fell in love with this distillery back in the early 1990s. It was a distillery that no one really spoke about, but I was mesmerised by the pink-grapefruit pith characteristic that has become the distillery's signature for me. While Longmorn is now famous for old vintages from Gordon & MacPhail, most of which are from sherry casks, this is from a refill sherry cask. I really like this style, as the wood does not overtake the underlying flavour of the spirit.
Longmorn 15 Year Old Cadenhead Dumpy, bot.~1980, 46%
Angus MacRaild – I chose this as a counterpart to the Hill Thompson 10 Year Old and it should have a similar profile: bottled from refill wood at a good drinking strength, only now a little older. It’s another fascinating look at the Longmorn distillery profile from these years at an age and with a style we don't normally experience. This is an extremely rare bottling and one I've never tried before, but on paper it should be delicious.
Longmorn 1969 Signatory Vintage 10th Anniversary, bot.1998, 56.3%
Jonny McMillan – In my experience, 1969 is one of the very best years for Longmorn. The casks from that year all tend to show an exuberant tropicality with vibrant citrus notes, and generally have a wonderful mouthfeel. I adore this style of whisky – at once enormously complex and yet incredibly easy to quaff.
Longmorn 1973 25 Year Old Hart Brothers, Port Wood, 55.5%
Sukhinder Singh – I tried this once in Germany many moons ago, as most of the bottles of this expression ended up there. I remember it being an extremely big whisky, with the rich port flavours coming through on the finish. These Longmorns from before 1976 are really quite unique and this is no exception, as it is quite unusual to find malts fully matured in Port casks from this era. I look forward to reacquainting myself with it.
Longmorn 10yo Hill Thompson, bot.1960s, 43%.
Longmorn 1970 Berry Brothers, bot.1998, 43%
Longmorn 1970 36YO Single Malts of Scotland, 56.1%
Longmorn 15YO Cadenhead Dumpy, bot.~1980, 46%
Longmorn 1969 Signatory 10th Anniversary, bot.1998, 56.3%
Longmorn 1973 25YO Old Hart Brothers, Port Wood, 55.5%