Google New Inchmoans plus an aperitif

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 23, 2017




Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild

New Inchmoans
+ an aperitif

It can’t have escaped your attention by now that Loch Lomond’s new owners are making more effort and more noise about their various distillates. I for one am quite delighted as there was a sense with the old owners that their cask selection policy was very much one of ‘fling a handful of pennies into the warehouse and bottle what they hit’.


Thankfully, however, this attitude seems to have departed with the previous owners and the distillery is now more open, more accommodating and far more interested in making, and bottling, interesting and often excellent whisky. We’ll taste a couple of (relatively) new Inchmoans today, but first a wee appetiser in the form of the un-peated Loch Lomond 18 year old...  


Loch Lomond 18 yo (46%, OB, +/-2017)

Loch Lomond 18 yo (46%, OB, +/-2017) Colour: Orangey gold. Nose: Quite a clean aroma, full of baked apples in butter, freshly baked bread, raw barley and various other cereals. Not to complex to begin with. The label mentioned peat smoke which seems curious as there is a distinct absence of phenols here. Develops along the lines of orange skins, herbal sweets, some slightly overripe fruits and various resins. Quite lovely really and very approachable. With time some notes of fresh American oak begin to arise; suggestions of sawdust, wood shavings and pencils. These characteristics dominate a little after some time suggesting some wood technology at play. Mouth: Orange liqueur, cloves, nutmeg, a little cardboard, oatmeal and a lick of paraffin. Some notes of lemon rind and sage emerge along with more wood sweetness and some syrupy, slightly artificial fruit notes like juicy fruit chewing gum. Not too thrilling in all honesty. Finish: Medium length with resurgent notes of cardboard and porridge. Some green and slightly leafy notes such as tobacco and final flourish of green apple peelings. Comments: I feel this bottling has been touch and go since it was released, for me there are better official - and contemporary - bottlings of Loch Lomond. But it’s still perfectly drinkable, just feels a bit ‘doctored‘ with wood to me. SGP: 532 - 77 points.



Onto the Inchmoans. Inchmoan is one of several peated distillates made at Loch Lomond and takes its name from one of the tiny islands on the distillery’s namesake Loch. Sibling peated makes include Inchfad (also named after one of the Loch’s islands), Craiglodge and Croftengea. It remains to be seen if the new owners will eventually launch ranges for all the various Loch Lomond distillates in future.



Inchmoan 12 yo (46%, OB, +/- 2017)

Inchmoan 12 yo (46%, OB, +/- 2017) Colour: Orangey gold again (I wonder if there isn’t a little caramel at play in these whiskies?) Nose: A pleasing and oatmeal rich smokiness that suggest bonfires, a little brine, some dried kelp and old ropes. There’s also a very easy coastal edge with some lemon peel and notes of wet beach pebbles and fresh oysters. This could almost be a lighter Islay whisky. Some sheeps wool, a little gorse and some gently smouldering peat embers. Quite lovely really. Mouth: Surprisingly big and tarry. Notes of lanolin, peat oils, kippers, gravadlax, parsley and various other dried herbs and shellfish qualities. Goes on with a little iodine, some white pepper and a bit of citrus and green fruitiness. Finish: decent length with a lean mineral edge and some lingering peat oils, a little ashiness and some soot. Comments: Simple but clean, flavoursome and - dare I say it - fairly priced. I feel this is a lot more ‘together’ than the Loch Lomond 18. That and it’s a perfectly lovely peated malt in its own right. Surprisingly coastal. SGP: 447 - 83 points.



Inchmoan 25 yo 1992/2017 (48.6%, OB, refill bourbon barrels)

Inchmoan 25 yo 1992/2017 (48.6%, OB, refill bourbon barrels) Colour: Light gold. Nose: A leafy, supremely elegant and very farmyard style of peat not unlike (dare I say it Serge?! – if you must -Ed) some old early 1980s Brora? Camphor, resin, beeswax, some wildflowers, a few crystallised fruits knocking about the place. Goes on with plenty of green fruits, smoked cereals, salted caramel and even some white asparagus. Becomes earthier, drier and more tertiary with these notes of sea salt, medical tinctures and little mentholated touches. With water: Veers more towards coastality (this isn’t a word but I feel if the dictionary people tasted more whiskies then it would be) and develops more intensely these lush and green fruit aspects. A few wildflowers dotted about the place and perhaps a little seaweed. Mouth: An undulating, stately and gentle unfurling of muscled and drying phenols, green fruit, coal, dried mint and a myriad and farmyard complexities. Gravel, wet earth, minerals, soot, iron, mercurochrome and something akin to a very old, dry Riesling. With water: more seagreens, gorse, wildflowers, mead, waxes, pollens, a little brine and a rather dazzling and brilliantly pristine peat oil flavour. Finish: Long, earthy, farmy, elegantly drying and subtly fruity in all the right ways. A final twist of lemon in the finish. Comments: I’m not sure how often I’ve written this but it bears repeating here: great distillate left in refill wood for sufficient time yields the best whiskies. In my humble opinion of course. Having said that, this was still a great surprise. It was really reminiscent of some old Brora at times with these farmyard qualities. More of this sort of thing please Loch Lomond! SGP: 566 - 90 points.








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