Longmorn’s name has trickled down pretty far from its original roots. The story goes there was an Irish missionary named Maernanog who more or less spearheaded the movement to get Christianity up and running in the Moray area of Scotland. In 625, he up and died after getting a hold of some bad clams (not really…possible, I guess, but not likely) and was honored by his fans with sainthood and a church known locally as Lann Marnoch. The years passed and this reverential name was bandied about, bastardized and morphed into Longmorn.
The Longmorn distillery was established in 1894, but unlike its nearby neighbor BenRiach, it weathered the Pattison affair successfully, being a favorite component of blenders. In more recent years, Longmorn has been a main malt in the Chivas blend and is currently owned by the Pernod Ricard group. While Longmorn only has one distillery bottling, their 16 Year Old, quite a few expressions show up from independent bottlers like this 17 year old beauty I tasted at the recent Signatory event.
The Nose: No surprise that this was aged in a bourbon cask, there were nice creamy vanilla notes, carmelized sugar, and apple cider. There were also a few almost sherry-esque moments, nice plump raisin notes and some hints of mint and sage. For 17 years old, I expected more tannins, but there wasn’t much oak on the nose.
The Palate: Ah…here’s the oak, lots of smooth, balanced oak and malt along with the bourbon antecedents of vanilla and caramel. Tucked in there nicely are floral apple notes and just the slightest hint of peat, no smoke, just a quiet whisper of the stuff.
The Finish: Shortish, malty with nice drying oak.
Thoughts: I felt like there was a lot of oak here but it was handled very well. The oak came through more and more towards the finish, but the other flavors were incorporated well so it never seemed too strong. The nose, perhaps, promised a bit richer dram than the palate and the finish provided, but overall this was really a delightful and delicious malt.
Signatory 1992 Longmorn 17 Year Old, Speyside