Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 10th May 2016
93/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
85.85/100 – Whiskybase (average from 199 member votes)
92/100 – Ralfy (of www.ralfy.com)
It’s 18 month since I blogged about getting a miniature of this famous Longmorn 15yo but it was only a matter of time before I got the full 70cl. This classic came and went before I started collecting whisky but now the subsequent 16yo has gone only to be replaced by the all-too-predictable NAS (non-aged statement) the Distiller’s Choice. I can understand why big names like Macallan and Glenlivet have changed to NAS because of the demand on their older stock but Longmorn? Really? Perhaps it’s because Chivas Regal need more and more mature Longmorn to go into their blend. Or maybe I don’t fully understand the reasons behind changing to NAS. Will I ever?
I mentioned Ralfy’s review in my previous blog about the 5cl but I’ll embed it this time so it’s easier to view. He talks about it as a drinker’s dram rather than for a collector and it seems that prices at auction back this up. Although one member of Whiskybase says the Longmorn 15yo cost just over £20 about 7-8 years ago it can be acquired for £45-£50 at auction now, which is a fairly average price for a new 15yo single malt. It may be a slow-burner as an investment but to Ralfy and many others, this is a dram to be drunk.
Nearly 86/100 on Whiskybase is an excellent score where reviewers leave comments of “a well balanced and very fruity dram”, “very nice indeed” and “relentlessly charming and sadly missed”. Ralfy’s 92/100 is one of his highest ever scores and 93/100 in the Whisky Bible classifies it as “brilliant”. The author, Jim Murray, says of the taste “your mouth aches from the enormity of the complexity, whilst your tongue wipes grooves into the roof of your mouth. Just about flawless bitter-sweet balance, the intensity of the malt is enormous yet – even after 15 years – it maintains a cut-grass Speyside character.”
Here’s Ralfy’s review on You Tube from November 2013:
Bought: Amazon, 2nd April 2015
84.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
83.83/100 – Whiskybase (average from 352 member votes)
A few months ago I got an email from my local whisky shop saying that the Longmorn 16yo was being discontinued with immediate effect. Even then, at over £50 and so-so reviews, I wasn’t going to rush out and procure a bottle. It took a ‘lightening deal’ on Amazon with a big discount and free postage to tempt me. Only then did I start to look properly at reviews of the 16yo.
The Longmorn 16yo replaced the highly respected 15yo, so it had a tough act to follow. The Whisky Bible rates the 15yo as 93/100 but the lower score for the 16yo dates back to the author’s tasting in 2008. The blending of a single malt can change a great deal in 7 years. Recent reviews of the 16yo suggest that it has improved, so it seems a shame that it’s being discontinued. The replacement is an NAS (non-age statement) called ‘The Distiller’s Choice” and is currently scoring less than 81/100 on Whiskybase. I wont be bothering to buy it.
Here’s the Whisky Vault comparing a newer version of the Longmorn 16 with my older version (Aug 2017):
Bought: Whisky Auction, 24th October 2014
93/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
85.58 – Whiskybase (average from 122 member votes)
92/100 – Ralfy – His review on YouTube (November 2013)
I’ve been wanting a bottle of the classic Longmorn 15yo since I started my whisky collection in July 2013. Unfortunately it had been discontinued and replaced with a 16yo. Word on the whisky walkway revealed that the 16yo was no patch on the delicious 15yo, which Jim Murray describes in his Whisky Bible as “an all-time Speyside great!”
It’s still possible to get the Longmorn 15yo 70cl at auction for £60-£70 but I was happy to get a miniature for £3 to give me a taste of this former champion. The Whisky Bible’s score of 93/100 classifies this malt as “Brilliant” with the new 16yo scoring 84.5/100, which is “good whisky worth trying”. The Whiskybase score of 85.58 is very high, especially from 122 votes but the 16yo isn’t far behind with 83.73/100 from 156 votes. Not that it’s fair to compare the two since they’re completely different whiskies. The Longmorn 16yo has fans but at nearly £50 per bottle, you’d want to know it was similar or better than what it replaced. Apparently new releases of the 16yo are improving but, if you get a bottle of the old 15, savour and enjoy!
Bought: Whisky Auction, 24th October 2014
87.09 – Whiskybase (average from 13 member votes)
Having bought this miniature from an online auction for a few pounds, I was pleasantly surprised to find a whisky shop in Switzerland selling a full bottle for €289! But it is quite rare. Initially released in 1995 before Longmorn dropped the “Glenlivet” part of their name, 13 members on Whiskybase score it an excellent 87/100.
Bottled by Gordon & MacPhail, this independent bottler has done several releases of a 12yo Longmorn over the years. I now have a miniature before and after the use of “Glenlivet” on the label. I feel a taste comparison coming on! I suppose a long night of Long-morn will be quite poetic! 🙂
Bought – Nickolls & Perks, 17th June 2014
78.5/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)
This Longmorn forms part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2009, it’s from a limited edition of 1377, Cask No: 156794. Non-chill filtered and no added colour.
Bought – Justminiatures, 13th November 2013
82/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 3 reviewers)
Review video: – SingleMaltManiac – Longmorn 12yo – YouTube
After having a go at the Aberfeldy 12yo for being overpriced, enter the Longmorn 16yo. My local Tesco supermarket have a full 70cl bottle of the 16yo but at £50 it’s about £20 more than it merits. With Christmas approaching Tesco have reduced it to £43 but they’d have to lower it to £30 before I’d consider it. Even then I’d rather spend the money on a Glenlivet 15yo or a Glenfarclas 12yo. But all credit to Longmorn for trying to avoid a battle with these lofty opponents by having a higher price. Clearly the hope is that people think “it’s more expensive so therefore must be better”. There will always be people who fall for that. As for me, I’ve opted for this miniature of a 12yo Longmorn which gets 82/100 from Malt Maniacs. The 16yo only gets 78/100 (an average from 6 reviewers).