Review : Longmorn 18 YO Double Cask Maturation

There are a few expressions that sit quietly along the sidelines, away from the local liqour stores. The Longmorn 18 was introduced by the Chivas Brothers at travel retail stores during the late 2019s as part of their “Secret Speyside Collection”. The collection comes from “four of Speysides most ellusive distilleries” and are a series of 15 expressions aged anywhere between 18 and 30 years.

The Longmorn distillery dates back to a hundred and thirty years, built in 1894 by John Duff near the city of Elgin. Not content with one, John went on to build a second, the Benriach in a three year span. Coupled with a slump in the demand for whisky, a change in market dynamics and the brunt of two distilleries led him to bankruptcy, forcing him to sell off both to James Grant. Not all was lost though, as John’s malts were praise worthy and a key component to several blends, heavily blended in some such as Vat 69 and Dewars. Longmorns continued to be favoured for their use in blends that their transition to single malts were all but recent (relatively); by 1993, the distillery forayed into the single malt space, releasing a 15 YO expression.

Coming back to the Longmorn 18, the whisky is Double Cask matured, meaning it is matured in a combination of american oak and hogsheads barrels, hogsheads being around 20% larger than standard oak barrels. Matured for a minimum of 18 years, the whisky is also non chill filtered, but does have caramel colouring added to it.

ABV : 48%

Eye : Non Chill filtered, Caramel Colouring

Nose : Woody Vanilla notes with honey and dates. Bananas, plums, chocolate, rum and raisins, infused with savoury and spicy notes of green pepper, cinnamon with hints of ginger chai.

Taste : Rich caramel with spiced wood; raisins, dried fruits and a pinch of white pepper. Mildly earthy, brushed with a bit of char and cinnamon sticks, peaches with a lovely enveloping spice similar to star anise on the palate.

Finish : Medium to long|Sweet vanilla, sultanas and spiced wood.

The Longmorn is a lush, well rounded and smooth spirit that truly represents its age. Sheer enjoyment from start to finish, both palate and nose were introduced to sweet and fruity nuances that harboured good depth with a finely balanced spectrum of flavours. If I were to critic, it seemed a tad bit sweet but nothing I would go loco about.

At around AUD $140, this was a welcome surprise knowing that the hogshead barrels would bring with it a reduced spirit to wood surface ratio; and being a lesser known whisky made the experience all the more worthwhile. Although not readily available, I recommend giving this one a shot should you happen to stumble across this dram.


P.S : Fun fact : Masataka Taketsuru (yes, The Masataka Taketsuru), had joined the Longmorn distillery as an apprentice during his early days, a stint that possibly laid seed to the beginnings of Japanese whisky.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Kalpana says:

    Awesome read!

    Liked by 1 person

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