London Whisky Show – Gordon + Macphail Distillery Labels Ardmore

Next up in our Gordon & Macphail tastings at the London Whisky Show were offerings from their Distillery Labels range…

So far from this series, we had a tasting with the Mortlach 15, and I tried their Ardmore and Linkwood at Whisky Live Singapore in 2017. I later acquired the Linkwood 15 year, which is patiently waiting at home in Mumbai for the right tasting opportunity, and the Glenbergie 15 year which is with me in Nurnberg.

However, what did Gordon & Macphail offer from their Distillery Labels range in Oct 2022?

Ardmore (2000/2021) 46% (G&MP Distillery Range)

  • Nose – Starts off with a fresh sea breeze with seaweed and sea salt, with a good dash of smoke and citrus
  • Palate – Oh… what a lovely round soft peat! With the fruits shifting from citrus to apple sauce, then a nice creamy ‘roll around’ your tongue yumminess
  • Finish – Surprisingly strong spice – particularly cracked black peppers – nice!

How delightful! Like all our other sampling, I intended to only sniff, swish, and spit this one… but I must confess, I may have missed that last step! I would certainly be interested in giving this one more time and attention on another occasion….

What more do we know? Our friendly guide shared this Ardmore had the benefit of both ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, currently retailing for approx GBP 150.

And what do the official Gordon & Macphail official tasting notes say?

  • Nose – Juicy BLOOD ORANGE and CANDIED APPLE aromas combine with a subtle hint of VANILLA. SMOKE features prominently alongside tart GRAPEFRUIT and LEMON PEEL.
  • Taste – Smoky BONFIRE EMBERS complement BAKED APPLE and sweet ORANGE ZEST. Light and spicy; BLACK PEPPER develops alongside flavours of MILK CHOCOLATE with an undertone of ANISEED.
  • Finish – A light and medium-bodied finish with lingering SMOKE and COCOA POWDER. 

As shared, Gordon & Macphail is a “must” stop at any Whisky Festival! If you are curious about previous experiences, read on….

So then… where did our whisky wanderings take us next?? Why on to the Connoisseurs Choice range!!

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Gordon + MacPhail – Longmorn 2002/2015 43%

Last but certainly not least in our Gordon & MacPhail evening was a whisky from Longmorn.

Longmorn Distillery is found between Glen of Rothes and Elgin. Its name is derived from the Gaelic, Lhanmorgund, which means “place of the holy man”. This is a reference to the church which once stood there. Prior to the distillery being built in 1897, there had also been a grain mill on the site. R.J.S. McDowell considered Longmorn to be one of the top four malt whiskies.

And what did our Whisky Ladies think?

Longmorn (2002/2015) 43%

  • Nose – Bacon! Yippee!! Then overripe fruits, creamy custard, nutmeg and such yummy eggnog, a bit of spice, ginger bread, shifted to sweet spices, peanut brittle… all this before the 1st sip!! Then… wool jacket with smoke, more fruits
  • Palate – Curious quality, black liquorice, peppercorn, so sweet, soft tobacco which took a long time to develop… smooth
  • Finish – Musky smoke, comforting wrapping around like a warm blanket with a black liquorice chaser

One remarked how it was like an “elegant man” and yet also a bit of an old dandy.

I’ll admit I had a moment before we opened the bottle of dread… what if it was a disaster? The last Longmorn we had was less than stellar…  yet the Longmorn of old was a character – a most enjoyable one at that – so our hope was it would lean more towards such a style.

And the verdict? A complete hit. Sweet but with substance. Just the right elements of light smoke with sweetness from the sherry.

On the bottle, the notes confirmed it is from 1st fill ex-sherry hogsheads and described as:

Delicate Sherry notes with stewed apples, pear and traces of tobacco. The palate has white pepper initially with banana and orange flavours complemented by a creamy milk chocolate chip.

Here’s what the folks over at Gordon & MacPhail have to say on their website:

Without water:

  • Aroma – Delicate Sherry influences with vanilla, stewed apple, and cinnamon spice. Hints of dried tobacco and cream soda are complemented by milk chocolate aromas.
  • Taste – Sweet and creamy initially with mild chilli spice developing. Liquorice, orange zest, and toffee flavours followed by a milk chocolate edge.

With water:

  • Aroma – Delicate Sherry initially with fresh green apple, sweet hay, and banana aromas with hints of toasted pecan nuts.
  • Taste –  Peppery with green apple, grapefruit, and charred oak flavours are complemented by a mouth coating milk chocolate and Brazil nut edge.

Would we agree? Mostly… but were we completely mistaken about some light peat? Surely not!

The affordable G&MP trio featured:

This bottle was purchased at The Whisky Exchange for GBP 48 and freshly opened in November 2017 by our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai.

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