Bottle: An older style, slightly dumpy take on the classic whisky bottle shape. Positively frumpy compared to the 16 year old that superseded it.
Nose: Very close to the 16 year old but just a little more restrained. Perfume. Lemon, lime, orange, a little salt, sandalwood, incense. Marvelous…
Body: Silky and light.
Palate: Fresh and zesty. Sour apple and lemon with pear, oak and a touch pepper at the back end. Again almost identical to the 16 but a notch less in it’s intensity. It is smoother however than it’s successor. Glides down ever so comfortably. Quality stuff.
Finish: Pleasantly dry and medium length. The lemon zest just doesn’t go away and keeps the whole thing fresh. A nice oak undertone too. At the risk of harping on, just like the 16…
Neat/Ice/Water: It’s very smooth at 45% and I like this one neat. Ice/water don’t seem to have brought much to the equation this time which is surprising as it mirrors the 16 so closely and I like that one better with 2 small cubes.
Verdict: Superior. The now defunct 15 year old has finally been acquired at auction! I had some many, many years ago but it didn’t register so it’s effectively my first time. I’m comparing it to the 16 year old that replaced it (which is one of my favorite whiskies of all time) in the reverse order that most Longmorn drinkers would have done it. How do they face off and is the 15 a better dram as many claim? There’s not a whole lot between them and they are both fantastic but I prefer the 16 due to it’s greater intensity of flavour. It just seems to have a little extra something that takes it over the top for me. The 15 is smoother but more subdued. It’s incredibly well balanced too and has that Longmorn factor where it just never gets old. This is rapidly becoming my favorite distillery (2 more independent bottlings on the shelf to be reviewed soon methinks). Yum!