The Difference Between Age and Maturity: Chivas Brothers 1993 Longmorn 18yo

Music: Shoji Meguro, “Heaven”

I love independent bottlings and one-offs. There is this excitement that comes with trying something that so few others have tried. While over the pond in London, I came across this Chivas Brothers cask strength series, and as I haven’t had Longmorn since my earliest of Scotch years, I was excited to try it again. Admittedly, this isn’t a true independent bottling, as it is bottled by Chivas, but not as part of the standard Longmorn line. Perhaps more a special edition, then.

Nose: Perfume and polish. A little strange to start. Green apple and malt, much like the Nadurra, in fact.

Palate: Rough around the edges for an 18yo, and best served without much water. It has that bright fruit-first kind of deal, drying out into sweetened malt. Not as complex as I’d hoped. In many ways, it’s like a more straightforward, not-as-successful Nadurra.

Finish: Green apples all day.

Grade: B

Of course, I wanted this one to be a good one, but at the end of the day, it’s a less impressive Glenlivet Nadurra. Shame, really.

“Those long days passing by from that door, like late summer, they slowly fade away”

Longmorn 15

Note: The first handful of posts are slightly reminiscent, as I am typing up my notes on whiskies tastes a few years ago. All proper tastings, but just never catalogued online.

The old Longmorn 15 (now Longmorn 16) was the second bottle of decent Single Malt Scotch that I had ever bought. I had tried it at the Kingston Brewing Co. Pub (Kingston, ON) in my fourth year of college, and loved it. Back then, I was easily sold by oily, velvety whisky, and the Longmorn 15 had both by the handful.

Sadly, when I purchased the bottle, it was slightly less thrilling than I’d remembered. It was still good, however. There is a lot of fondness for this whisky around the internet, as people wistfully remember the days of Longmorn 15, before they migrated to the Longmorn 16. Being a much more experienced whisky fan now, part of me wants to try Longmorn again, but hearing the drop in scores (and the doubling in price) for the Longmorn 16 in comparison, I haven’t been able to convince myself to purchase another bottle. Take it in to consideration that this whisky was tasted when I was a whisky “newbie”.

Nose: Sweet, malty, some nuttiness.

Palate: Very oily, syrupy, sweet toffee and malt. A slight fruitiness. And then there is something off, a souring of the palate on the tail end. This is what gets me.

Finish: Long, caramelized nuts, an elegant sweet finish.

Grade: B-

Apart from the turbulence on the palate, this whisky is quite good. If it weren’t for that turbulence, this would be up one notch to a B. Perhaps your experience might be different. Of course, at $100 in Ontario, almost every whisky I have tried that ranks above B- is cheaper than the 16, and you’d be hard pressed to find this one.