Loch Lomond – Single Grain

Tasting Notes – Flash Blog

Well, there’s no denying it, we have seriously been neglecting you, there are a stream of reasons, incredibly busy personal lives, ill health, and having lost a bit of our whisky mojo, this has affected a lot of people but, we found all of a sudden it wasn’t fun anymore.

As the sample queue backed up and backed up, we had less and less will to sample them and write them up, and when the fun stops, it’s time for us to stop.

However we are back, we are leaping into the water and you know what, it is lovely!

So enough about us, why are we back?  Well it’s time for a little bit of Flash bloggery pokery and that’s always fun!  Arranged via Steve Rush (@TheWhiskyWire) and Loch Lomond Distillery (@LochLomond3) we, among others have come together to release our notes en masse.  Just use the #LochLomond to see what our fellow bloggers thought of this.

Loch Lomond Single Grain
Loch Lomond Single Grain

So here’s something a little different, it’s true to say that Loch Lomond Distillery hasn’t been the whisky drinkers distillery of choice, they do produce a lot of the highly popular High Commissioner, but more recently they have started to put out some pretty good malts out there.  Inchmurrin 12 has proved highly popular for starters, there is also an 18 year old.

Now I have a little riddle for you, when is a distillate made purely from 100% malted barley not a single malt?  When it’s distilled in a Coffey Still.  Confused?

Don’t be, it all comes down to the choice of the distillery, if they are using grains, then the whisky will only ever be a grain whisky, but if using 100% barley, then they distillery at this point still has the choice of producing a single malt.

However the second proviso is that to be a malt whisky it must also be distilled in a Pot Still, it is at this point if the distillery choses a Coffey still it becomes a grain whisky, there, make sense?

Now that I’ve explained it, let’s get on with the important job of reviewing it.

What Loch Lomond Say:

Founded in 1814 our proud tradition of making quality single grain whisky on the shore of Loch Lomond ensure our single grain whiskies are a fine example of the distillery style and character.

Distilled in our Coffey still using exclusively malted barley ensures that this single grain is smooth, sweet with added complexity not usually found in a single grain.

Matured in the finest American Oak casks under the watchful eye of Michael Henry, Master Blender, which ensures the perfect harmony of flavour and aroma (I’ll be the judge of that, and yes they do like the word ensure(s) a little too much)

What I say:

I’m interested to give this a go, I’ve been lucky to try the Inchmurrin’s and really enjoyed them, High Commissioner, not so much.  With an open mind and no idea what to expect here we go.

With that all in mind I am really looking forward to giving this a try! Loch Lomond Single Grain is bottled at 46% ABV at an RRP of around £30.00.

Kirsty

Nose:

So fruity, strawberries are first up, not just picked fruit, by more like a strawberry scented chapstick, with the waxiness and tangy strawberry making your mouth water.  There’s ripe melon, with that lovely sticky, sweet juiciness.

Pineapple rings, warm and glazed in honey and then smothered in condensed milk.  Orange oil and lemon bon bon’s are zesty yet soft. Keep digging and you hit a note which first appeared to me as new make, with the high yeast and cooking apples notes, but as you keep nosing this becomes more akin to warm banana bread dusted with icing sugar.

Once the sweet notes settle down slightly there is a fresh grassiness, which reminds me of little piles of wet grass cuttings in spring.

Palate:

Ok, I did not expect that, the pineapples from the palate are there, and they are a curious mixture of sharp and slightly under ripe and super sweet, with the syrup from a tin also, but on top of that, almost drowning it out is some hot cracked blacked peppercorns, drying wood spice, a spilt pencil sharpener and rye and pumpkin seed bread.

Given a little time to breathe I approach this again, the heat is far more fleeting, as gentle vanilla is released, with apples and sultanas all baked in sugar topped flaky pastry.  There is still a touch of orange but it’s with the bitter skin and pithy zest, and salted lemons adding an interesting depth.

Finish:

Far longer than I imagined, those spicier, woody notes really carrying this on and on.  The fruits from the nose and the palate are there, but they dip in and out, sometimes you will get a burst of pineapples, or strawberries and this then tails off with Fruit Salad sweets and grown up oak spice.

Overall Conclusions:

Far more complex than I had given this credit for, and by no means a one trick pony.  It is an easy drinker, one to enjoy with friends, and at the end of the night you may well be surprised to see just how much of the bottle you got through.

The nose and the finish are so different, and just as you think you have figured this dram out, whoosh, it changes direction.  I love the waxiness, the freshness of the fruits, the nod to the grassiness, and then this heavy, hot, spicy, woody and rich oakiness which really gives this a sophisticated lift.

I think this could have a bit of something for everyone in here.  My advice, at this price give it a go, oh and keep an eye on Loch Lomond Distillery, I think there are far more greater things to come.

Kirsty Clarke (@KirstyClarke29)

 

Everybody needs a Whisky Corner in their life.

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