Whisky Review: Gordon & Macphail Reserve Longmorn 1966 Aged 44 Years Bottled for Van Wees

Style: Sherried and Dignified

Nose:
Extraordinary amount of red rates, cranberries, black currants, walnuts, oak and wood varnish dominating the aroma. Incredibly sherried, dense and slightly acidic. Underneath the sea of sherry sits a nice golden malt, fragrant white flowers and stewed fruits. Curry leaves, peat smoke and minimal sulphur which resembles smoky chicken broth. Slight metallic tang. Gentle prod from spearmint whereas green grass overtone rising into the air. Cornflakes and strawberry jam towards the end. Very nice.

Palate:
Dense, tart and tightly-assembled dark sherry unleashed onto the palate. Assorted red fruits, Oloroso signatures but it also tasted like an oxidised Madeira as well. Walnuts, almonds, sultanas in chocolate ice cream. The fruit spectrum slowly widens to glazed pears and kumquat. Icing sugar and saw dust. Subtle wood smoke lighted up by flint sparks. Roasted duck salad with cherry sauce, peppermint strawberry ice tea and green tobacco leaves. The sherry and the malt realign at the back, chocolate malt with touch of espresso to finish.

Finish:
Sherry, sherry, sherry, no surprise here. Dark forest cake, malt and stewed tropical fruits with a touch of smoke. Sweet and delicious.

Thoughts:
Distillate from the 60s are rare as hen’s teeth these days and I am proud to own (and drink!) a piece of liquid history which illustrates an “old school” style of whisky-making in that era. This ultra-matured sherry bomb is so rich and dense that the subtleties had a pretty hard time to penetrate through the thick sherry armour, they are there, but patience is required. My friend and I discussed and agreed this is probably a paxaratted cask, it was a common practice at those times after all. Personally, I prefer to see more of the distillery character, but who I am to complain when this is all sweet and delicious?

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[44.3%| Independent Bottling| 1966 Distilled| 2011 Bottled| Single Cask| Cask Number: 5063| Bottle Number: 138 of 283| First-Fill Sherry Butt **]

-Esmond

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