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Longmorn Transforms Into a Luxury Whisky Brand

Updated: May 30


Longmorn single malt whisky rebranding 2024

Image by Longmorn / The Whisky Ardvark


More commonly known as a component of multiple best-selling blended whiskies, the Longmorn single malt has faced challenges over the last 15 years despite being highly regarded by whisky enthusiasts. The Pernod Ricard-owned Speyside distillery has made various attempts to rebrand and remain competitive in the single malt market.


In February 2024, Chivas Brothers announced the start of a new era for Longmorn. They unveiled two well-aged single malts with an art deco style bottling to celebrate the distillery's 130th anniversary, replacing the previous range, which included a non-age statement Distiller's Choice. From now on, the brand will only produce whiskies aged no less than 18 years.



 

Short History of Longmorn Distillery & Branding


Longmorn distillery was established in 1894 by John Duff with an investment of £20,000 (which is equivalent to approximately £3.3 million today). Duff built a railway to facilitate the import of ingredients and the export of its products worldwide. He also built another distillery named Longmorn No.2, which is now known as Benriach.


In 2001, Pernod Ricard acquired Longmorn and the Chivas Group from Seagram's. Prior to this, Longmorn single malt was mainly bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and as a 15-year-old by the distillery. By 2007, the new owner replaced the previous expression with the relatively short-lived 16-year-old single malt.


To follow the trend of releasing non-age statement whiskies, The Distiller's Choice was launched in 2015. It was the only expression available at the time, excluding distillery-exclusive cask-strength bottlings. A year later, the expression was joined by the resurrected 16-year-old and the new 23-year-old single-batch malts. However, the bottlings were considered to be quite expensive.


Old bottling of Longmorn single malt whisky

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Longmorn was given three expressions - 18, 23 and 25-year-olds - as part of Chivas Brothers' 'The Secret Speyside Collection' to raise the profile of the distillery's brand. However, it appears that these bottlings needed - yet again - to be rethought.



 

The New Collection


Chivas Brothers has recently released 18-year-old and 22-year-old single malts which will be the foundation of Longmorn's whisky portfolio. Along with the release, Longmorn has rebranded itself as an elegant whisky brand, likely targeting high-end consumers with refined taste. The new bespoke packaging and label are art deco-inspired and feature a simple dark purple/blue colour scheme consistent with the brand's previous design. Additionally, the brand has launched a new website to accompany the release.


Longmorn single malt whisky range rebranding 2024

Image by Longmorn


Both of the new annual whisky releases are presented as single-batch, cask-strength, non-chill-filtered expressions and aged in a combination of barrels and hogsheads. The whisky remains true to the previous releases but with more complexity due to the high alcohol by volume (ABV). The 18-year-old whisky is bottled at 57.6% and retails for £220 while the 22-year-old whisky is bottled at 54.5% and retails for £350. Both are considered premium prices for single malts of the equivalent age.


 

Thank you for reading The Whisky Ardvark! Make sure to check out some of our other informative whisky articles below.








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