Allow us a mere moment to divert from our populist method of reviewing bottles you can actually find on the shelf and talk about something much more titillating: independent bottlings. The spirits industry across all styles maintains a lovely working relationship with independent companies that buy excess quantities of casks from distilleries for eventual resale. A distillery may sell off casks for two reasons: 1) additional source of business for the distillery and 2) if a particular number of casks does not fit the target flavor profile the producer is looking for, those casks become great candidates to sell off. Keep this in mind as well: the independent bottler may age the procured spirit further with special finishes or to reach a certain age statement far beyond what the original distiller is willing to offer. Today, our selection was purchased by the fine wine & spirit merchants Berry Brothers & Rudd in London, England. In fact, Berrys’ is Britain’s oldest wine merchant, having acquired their business in 1698. They are one of the top bottlers in the Scotch industry and are known for their quality selections.
Today’s review is a Berry’s acquired 20 year old Speyside single malt from Longmorn Distillery in Morayshire. Distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2013, this cask strength malt (55.6% ABV) is of course non chill filtered and un-colored. Longmorn only offers at present a 16 year old single malt for release, but the majority of production is for blends such as Chivas Regal. Considered a favorite among connoisseurs, a 20 year old Longmorn demands a glance. Let’s see how it goes…
SWC Group Review
Nose- Fresh oak (ironically), ABV is controlled. Flower garden. Oaky sweetness with toffee. Lemon citrus peel. Touch of honey and butter cookies. Sweetness is balanced and quietly complex.
Taste- Great texture. Creamy feel. Delicious toffee and lemony feel. Green fruit.
Finish – Long. Juicy grain. Honey fresh. Lingering, straw.
Comments- Superb, great nose and taste. Finish is a bit bland, also needs a small amount of water to balance out. Overall, plenty to tease out and enjoy.
SWC Rating – 88/100
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.
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