Boutique-y Advent 2021 – Door 8

Posted 09 December 2021 by Matt / In Longmorn
The Dramble reviews That Boutique-y Whisky Company Longmorn 10 Year Old Batch 3

Bottle Name: Longmorn 10 Year Old Batch 3

ABV: 48.3%
Distillery: Longmorn
Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Region: Speyside Age: 10

Longmorn time – an often-underrated Speysider that has been bulking out blended whiskies since its opening in 1894. But whilst the fruit-forward character of the distillate is highly regarded by blenders as a dressing malt, its presentation as an official single malt has never really captivated the wider market. Indeed, at times it has aggravated it. The original expression of Longmorn – a 15 year old release – was available until 2007 when it was replaced by a differently composed 16 year old. Both were popular during their times albeit they were far less visible than many of the growing ranges and releases from neighbouring distilleries. 

Come 2016 and Chivas Pernod Ricard decided that a ‘Morlachification’ of their portfolio was required. Despite several of the company’s distilleries arguably possessing specific features that would make them more suitable for ‘premiumisation’ – least of all, recognition outside of all by the most devoted of whisky circles - Longmorn was selected to be the company’s figurehead malt. The result was a fully revised range of new expressions at rather fanciful prices. Enthusiasts were unmoved.

The 16 year old Longmorn is still in production, but the days of attempting to foist a largely unheard of (outside of the fandom) distillery into the luxury end of the market seem over – at least for the time being. And there’s seemingly little love for Longmorn with its owners at the present – the distillery does not even currently feature on its brand page. Odd. The hinted indulgence of the 2016 premiumisation is now seemingly a distant memory.

Perhaps the takeaway here is that whilst all whiskies have niches – not all are flexible enough (in both liquid and brand terms) to automatically be shoe-horned into different roles and market positions. OB Longmorn has been around for ages – but it has never broken in the mainstream, and I doubt it ever will. However, does it really need to? Longmorn has a healthy niche within the independent bottling market. As a drinker, if you want some, you can find it – and some excellent examples at that. Just not from the distillery itself.

Time will tell if this changes. But let’s all hope that any future attempt to reintroduce Longmorn as an OB aims squarely at the distillery’s spirit qualities and not at perceived customer aspirations.

Door 8 of the 2021 Boutique-y Advent calendar delivers Longmorn 10 year old Batch 3 – a run of 1,793 bottle at 48.3% ABV. When this bottle was originally featured on The Dramble back in December 2019 the list price was £76.95 – though at that time, it was on Flash Sale for 50% discount at £38.47. As of writing today you’re looking at £69.95 from Master of Malt….so 10% lower than the original RRP, but nowhere near as tempting as that December 2019 price sadly.

Once you’re done here, both Sorren at OCD Whisky and Brian at Brian's Malt Musings and undertaking the 24 days of Boutique-y this year - so go check them out for some alternative views.

Nose: Thick Eaton mess – crumbled meringue, scattered berries, stiff whipped cream, a scattering of red berries and finished off with a drizzled berry reduction sauce. This sits with a side of apricot yoghurt, Genoese sponge and Battenberg cake. Running throughout, anise and ginger spiced pears and toasted bread. Dilution takes things back to the spirit and base ingredients – Lemon drops, sugar syrup and Weetabix.

Taste: A similarly dessert-like quality, but with a richer delivery than the nose suggested. Ginger spiced toffee apples alongside redcurrants, raspberries and blackberries. The distillate expresses some weight with maple and golden syrups, whilst zesty orange cake and barley water sit with butterscotch and gingerbread.

Finish: Medium with gentle pepper spicing and suggestion of dry coastalness.

I find Batch 3 of Boutique-y’s Longmorn 10 year old to be a quite commendable. The oak influence is largely restrained, letting the expressive distillate do much of the talking – and its got a tale of bright ripe fruits alongside creamy patisserie and baked goods to tell. All very pleasant - all we need now is another MoM Flash Sale!

Score: 85/100

Master of Malt
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