You have not yet heard of Croftengea? No worries, you are not alone. Even after more than 4500 whisky’s under my belt, this is only the second Croftengea that I will be trying myself! This malt is one of the most peaty creations from the versatile Loch Lomond distillery. It’s actually used to give the Loch Lomond blends a peaty note, but once in a blue moon it appears as a single malt. This is one of those, released by Liquid Art for the Belgian whisky club Glashelder (‘Clear Glass’). Funny detail: two labels were designed by a young Belgian artist: a purple/orange one for the uneven numbers and a blue/green one for the even numbers of the 99 available bottles.
Oh, this is a lovely nose indeed. Did not see that coming! Lovely grainy sweetness with lots of vanilla, but also dried apricots and peach. Wonderful toffee with sultanas and a mildly green, herbal note. Then citrus kicks in. Make that grapefruit. Underneath is a smoky note, but I would not call this one truly peaty – at least not on the nose.
Nicely oily body. Now the peat does come first. It even becomes quite smoky, but this is Highland peat of course, so do not expect any medicinal notes like you would with an Ileach. The sweet, quasi tropical fruit returns (add quite a bit of mango), upholstered with some salted caramel. It even turns a bit candy-like, as if from Turkish Delight. This is truly pleasant.
I get some liquorice and woodspices in the medium long finish.
When I say ‘daring choice’, obviously I only refer to the name, because it is not well-known to a larger audience. But once you have tasted it, it becomes crystal clear why Glashelder selected this cask. Excellent Croftengea!