[May, 2017] I just did a private tour of Loch Lomond distillery, one of the very last sites I have not been in the stillhouse so far. The tour was done very professionally by Ibon and clarified a lot of my questions about this fascinating distillery that produces so many different styles of whisky under one roof. So this is a good reason to do some reviews of their current product range.
This is a single grain whisky that was distilled in the small pair of Coffey stills at Loch Lomond distillery that are located in the same stillhouse as the pot stills (they own big Coffey stills in a detached building too, where the grain for blending purposes is produced). But contrary to the other grain whiskies they use 100 per cent malted barley from the same washs that feed the malt stills for this single grain too. Actually it is a malt by its ingredients that is just continuously distilled - so by Scottish law it has to be called a grain whisky. The cut-off point at distillation is at 84% significantly lower as with the other grain whiskies that usually go for around 95% - so more flavours and aromas are preserved. It has aged for around 4-5 years in first fill bourbon casks (around 20 per cent of each batch) and the remaining 80 per cent come from refill bourbon casks.
The nose is very light and fruity. It reminds me rather of the smell of prosecco or other sparkling wines than of a whisky. Really interesting. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft with no hot moments at all. On the palate a sweet and fruity profile develops, again a little prosecco-alike (even somewhat tingling). Not too bad... The finish is rather short but enjoyable on some additional chocolate aromas (both milk and dark chocolate).
This is a real surprise, never had such a malted grain style whisky before and to be honest - I like it. Of course, one should not compare this to traditional malts but it is a fresh new taste in the whisky scene for sure... And the price is quite attractive.
Older Loch Lomond whisky wasn't really one of my favourites, but I heard good stories about it lately, including the hype around the "law and order Whiskynerds bottlings" So i gave this one, together with the standard Inchmurrin 12, the Madeira finish and the peated Inchmoan a try. I must say, am impressed, quality drams.
For this one: tasty sweet single (barley) grain. soft sweet body with banana, vanilla and creamy goodness
The grain used here is malted barley but because it's distilled in those hybrid coffee stills, they cant legally [SWA] call this anything but single grain - even though the grain is malted barley. Clear?
N: Smells good for a very young grain spirit as it turns out. Noses like a vanilla-led bourbon which is apt.
T: Accessible salted barley with a soft, citrus acidity.
F: Greenish vanilla finish.
C: Amazingly it's only 3-4 years old but performing just fine. Using new & first-fill casks to speed up the process, is this the Kavalan of single grain? I much prefer it to the MM 1996 WB version for sure. [£20 May ’17]
Scores a D[+]
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