This is the last review of three which covers the latest releases in the Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection.
The last of these releases is one that I have been deliberately saving until last – and not just because it is the oldest. I’ve been trying to think of a bad independent Longmorn that I have tried and I’ll admit to struggling to think of one (official ones are also good, if now rather pricey after their last revamp / redesign)
Secondly I’d suggest that G&M are perhaps the de facto experts in long maturations and have a tremendous history of excellent releases up to and including the very, very, very old 1939 Mortlach 75 which was released several years ago.
A solid distillery and a bottler renowned for its expertise in longer maturations? Fingers crossed for something rather special…
Longmorn 1966, 53yo, IB (Gordon & MacPhail) 46%abv, press sample.
This expression was matured in a first fill Sherry butt that was filled in February 1966 and the bottled in March 2019.
The nose is a bouquet of dark fruits (namely brambles which have been soaked in brandy) with an undertone of damp spice deliciously mixed with cocoa powder. There are subtle hints of light woods such as balsa and faint, subtle old oak mixed in with some very old and well worn leather. Slight dunnage-esque notes are somewhere underneath it all.
The palate is full of gently spiced chocolate and intense black tea with big spoonfuls of Demerara sugar melted within. There is a faint hint of musty red grapes and a vague earthiness. All wrapped up with a spiced, fruity undertone.
The finish is tannic and full of mouth filling spices. The wood morphs from balsa to cedar and then to oak before leaving the tiniest amount of chocolate flakes melting in your mouth.
This is by far my favourite of the three releases. The balance has not suffered nor has the distillery character been obfuscated by the 53 years it has spent in cask.
398 bottles of the 1966 Longmorn from Gordon & MacPhail are available with an RRP of £6950.