Dewar Rattray Longmorn Tasting Notes

Posted: May 4, 2013 in Longmorn, Scotch Whisky A-G

Dewar Rattray Longmorn 1996 (14 year old) 46% – sample at cask strength 55.9%

Bourbon Cask 97630/ Dist: 1996 Btl: May 2011

A lovely, classic Speyside nose of fresh citrus with herbaceous notes of fern, camphor and pine needles along with hints of crystalised fruit, honey and dusty oak. The palate is as intense and fresh as the nose but a tad oilier and deeper with more apricot, nuts and oak character. The lovely crisp almost sharp citrus arrives on the middle with mouth watering clarity and finish with a herbal flourish.

With water (an approximation of what it will be like at 46%) the nose has become heavier and oilier with the oak being a touch more in control and exuding marzipan like aromas although given time the herbal citrus notes do come through. The palate also displays a little more oak with some slightly burnt caramel notes and some heavy honey flavours which build until a short burst of citrus cleanses the palate leaving the crystalised fruit showing in the finish. A perfectly charming dram.

Dewar Rattray Longmorn 1992 (15 year old) 56.8%

Bourbon Cask 119400/ Dist: 1992 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: May 2008

This is a nice Longmorn, probably not as intense as the James McArthur 14 year old, but it’s still very nice. It’s rich and fruity on the nose, packed with apricot, orange and tangerine flavours abetted by a touch of vanilla, developing spice and dunnage warehouse floors.

The palate is quiet oily and again jam packed with an array of soft peach, apricot, orange and tangerine. It’s a veritable fruit salad that fills the mouth nicely. Lovely intensity with a touch of salt and spice to give it complexity. Good, long oily length.

A drop of water softens and brings out crisp barley and an apple blossom note on the nose along with light coffee. On the palate, if anything it makes it a tad sweeter, bringing out oodles of candied fruit and crisp barley. It’s velvety soft, like angels dancing on the tongue! Lovely!

Dewar Rattray Longmorn 1993 (19 year old) 54.8%

Bourbon Cask 68004/ Dist: 1993 Btl: Apr 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

A slightly high toned and very grassy nose with hints of dried reeds, crisp honey and a touch of apricot. Quite vibrant and fresh but there is a mature dénouement to the honey. It takes awhile for the oak to show, but it does eventually with a buttery character.

The palate is soft and succulent, full of apricot, straw, dark toffee, treacle, malt and coffee. It is distinctly darker than the nose would suggest! Piquant alcohol masks the middle but it does have a lovely buttery oak fade with just a deft sprinkling of crumbly spice.

With water the nose becomes gorgeously honeyed with plenty of barley unleashed. The oak has become more noticeable but not too prominent as the granity crispness balances. Stunningly deep now. The palate has become seriously citrusy with honey drizzled tangerine. The citrus fruit is quite pithy and makes the palate considerably lighter. Lightly honeyed with hints of grass and gentle oak. Still displaying that lovely crumbly spice in the finish.

Dewar Rattray Longmorn 1984 (20 year old) 54%

Refill Bourbon Cask 2748/ Dist: Mar 1984 Btl: Sept 2005/ Tasted: Nov 2005

Pronounced slightly oily aromas of rich toffee fudge cake, light spices. Pleasantly delicate. Develops a floral citrus note along with some vanilla oil and white chocolate. A lovely, light, clean white chocolate palate. Oily and deep with a touch of citrus, nuts and wood notes. Lovely length with a vanilla fudge cake and walnut finish.

A drop of water emphasises the vanilla oils, bringing out some light caramel and floral notes. The palate becomes very spicy and emphasises the wood tannins.

Dewar Rattray Longmorn 1990 (20 year old) 52.5%

Bourbon cask 30025/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Sept 2010

A beautiful nose of polished orange fruit. Surprisingly gristy with plenty of herbal malt and barley. Lovely succulent depth, slightly oily in character and delightfully impregnated with dusty spices. With time the charred vanilla oak adds to the complexity as does a floral top note.

Soft and juicy on the palate. Like the nose there is plenty of gristy barley and a soupcon of honey. It opens into a lovely softly spiced middle with a gentle alcohol nip and finished with a floral finale.

With water the nose is a shade oilier and the orange/ tangerine fruit takes on a lovely purity as does the honey, which now shows more maturity. The palate has become a lot sweeter. Less intense and slightly watery, but the gloriously soft fruit makes up for it. One can see that this was bottled in the nick of time as the botanical spirit rules at the death. My advice would be to take this neat.

AD Rattray Longmorn 1992 (21 year old) 48%

Bourbon Cask 110987/ Dist: 1992 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Aug 2014

The aromas are quite earthy and mature with baked fruit and grainy coffee notes. Brittle barley and some sweet honey follow along with hints of white flowers. Very appealing and complex with the honey and barley balancing the baked fruit. With time a little mature oak is noticeable. 

The palate opens with toffee and baked fruit, followed by silky barley. The honey is quite dark in character and with a little time flecks of citrus come through. Lovely, oily middle with the baked fruit beginning to dominate. Good, fresh finish as the alcohol kicks in and the citrus asserts. Long with hints of caramel and coffee in the sfter-taste.

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