Croftengea is a malt that you do not often encounter. At least I don’t. This is only my fifth encounter with this peated malt from the versatile Loch Lomond Distillery. It had been more than two years since I tasted the fourth one and that on more than 5,000 whiskies tasted, that says it all. And now my good friend Tom Haseldonckx comes with his own bottling for Buds & Barrels. He’s got some balls! I'm going to give you (and him!), as always, my unvarnished opinion.
Malt sugars, soft peat, banana chips, oatmeal porridge, sultanas, hint of vanilla and a lot of herbal notes, as if I'm nosing this in a botanical garden. But... it may be said: I find this one smells quite pleasant. Less dirty than many Croftengea, but all the more fruity with a sweet and sour touch that now reminds me of zespri. Mashed potatoes. Apples and peach appear, followed by grapefruit and dried apricots. Give it at least ten minutes to breathe in the glass and you will think like me: ‘This is… good!’
It is nice and creamy on the palate, which I quite like. Now I get mango, sultanas and baked apples, followed by salted caramel, woodsmoke and a lot of sweet and sour peat. It becomes a bit funky midpalate and... that's really charming. Who would have thought that!? Yummy.
The finish is long on licorice, herbs and... apple pie? Ha!
Tommy, boy, what have you done now? Bottled a Croftengea that I like, that's a unicorn! Top selection, dude, well done.