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  • Writer's pictureHarold

Longmorn '96 Duo

Another famous ’96 vintage, although not as fanaticized over as much as say, Ben Nevis...is Longmorn. Chivas tends to hoard most of this popular blending stock for themselves but on the occasion they've let some go, like these 96ers, they've typically been held in high regard. Like many of its Speyside brethren, sherry bombs have come quite natural to this Elgin distillery but, as Chivas is well aware of, it's also a great distillate that shines in bourbon as well. But that's for another day...

 
Longmorn (van Wees) 1996/17 Year |The Ultimate - Cask Strength| Sherry Butt #72323 57.5%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Longmorn (van Wees)

1996/17 Year |The Ultimate - Cask Strength| Sherry Butt 72323 57.5%


The Dutch market was treated to 8 sister casks of these wonderful sherry bombs, back in 2013/2014 from the legendary retail whisky house of van Wees. In a short term approach, rather than seeing how they would evolve with a little more time in the cask, they decided to bottle all of them around the same time, which I'm sure made for some fun verticals.


Appearance: Burnt umber

First Whiff: Musty, freshly dumped oloroso cask.

Nose: Cask driven (ya think?), but ethanol-ly to start. Crushed almonds and toasted coconut wave off the alcohol. Tootsie roll chocolates, some rancio with a nice hint of liquorice underneath. The nutty kind of sherry so far…probably oloroso but could quite possibly have spent some time in another type of sherry cask. The wonder of “Sherry Butts.” With water: More leathery, buttery, toffee and muddled tea spices.

Palate: As the immortal (and fellow New Yorker), Buster Poindexter famously sang, this one’s “feelin’ HOT HOT HOT!”….OK Sorry! But who doesn’t love a Buster Poindexter reference?! Anyways...YES a bit of unbalance but I’ll try to temper that in a bit. Mouth coating with that liquorice style anise. More tootsie rolls/tootsie pops (a dirtier/dustier style of chocolate). Slightly peppery, dried apricots. With water: Still unbalanced but semi-palatable. More coating, less oily. Resinous, peppery…fresh coffee grinds.

Finish: Warming, oily. Lasting liquorice and hot chocolate.


Summary: Needs time/water to open up. Almost Armagnac style. Lacks any real “Longmorn” character, but I’m always a bit tough on scoring any modern day “sherry bomb.” I understand there’s a market for them but I feel that with a bit of age (or price tag), there should definitely be some noticeable distillery character…even if it's subtle.

IDS SCORE: 85

 
Longmorn (Signatory Vintage) 1996/18 Year |The Un-Chillfiltered Collection - Cask Strength| 1st Fill Sherry Butt #105088 - 60.4%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Longmorn (Signatory Vintage) 1996/18 Year |The Un-Chillfiltered Collection - Cask Strength|

1st Fill Sherry Butt 105088 - 60.4%

(Taiwan Exclusive)


Signatory seemed to have bought the bulk of this '96 stock...taking an alternative approach, than van Wees, and holding on to a significant portion for older releases and reselling (like this legendary Whisky Exchange bottling). Taiwan got their hands on this exclusive cask...which is often the case for sherry bombs...but happily it found a place in my collection as well.


Appearance: Root beer cola…aka old oak/brown sherry…aka darrrknesssss!

First Whiff: Cherry topped, chocolate sundae.

Nose: Similar maturation here, anise centric…confectionary chocolates. Wonderful dunnage style nose, old wood after years of fighting off the angels. With water: Root beer (ya, I may have influenced myself...it happens) and Ginger caramAle (did I just make that up? Let’s say yes), like "Butterbeer," I suppose.

Palate: Mmm more some subtle dark stone fruit relief…chocolate covered cherries, red plums, blackberries, Welch's grape jelly. Woodfire crisp smoke in the back. With water: More rancio, sweet…sticky raisins, dates. Lovely.

Finish: Christmas spices, warm Hershey’s chocolate syrup.


Summary: Cask driven but far from over-oaked. The soft, dark red fruits really sang in the mid-palate but get overtaken by the woody tannic side in the backend.

IDS SCORE: 89

 

Longmorn '96 Duo

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