Google Some fun with Loch Lomond

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


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

November 28, 2018


Some fun with Loch Lomond

Only a few years back we just wouldn’t have ‘touched’ anything from Loch Lomond’s, or only for the sake of maniacal research. But things have changed, first thanks to an extraordinary old Rosdhu by Murray McDavid, and then because of some much improved officials that started to come out around three or four years ago. But remember Loch Lomond actually harbor several sets of stills, so one could claim that they’re actually several distilleries, kind of amalgamated. We would mention Loch Lomond as such (grain and malt), but also Inchmoan, Inchfad, Old Rosdhu, Croftengea, Inchmurrin and Craiglodge…

Loch Lomond (46%, OB, single grain, 2016)

Loch Lomond (46%, OB, single grain, 2016) Two stars and a half
Right, I’m not holding my breath, but you never know… Now remember they use only malted barley for these grain whiskies… We’ve already tried a recent Lomond grain but that one had a cream label. Not too sure about the differences… Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s got rather more body than your average young grain whisky, with pleasant whiffs of toasted white bread, green apples, gooseberries, and vanillin. It’s all rather delicate, not dull and not totally ‘silent’. Mouth: fine! More popcorn this time, vanilla, limoncello, a touch of vanilla fudge, icing sugar, sugarcane syrup, touches of tinned pineapples… Finish: a little short, but clean and not ‘absent’. Bitterer aftertaste, with some green tannicity. Comments: really fair, I would say. A rather bolder grain.
SGP:540 - 78 points.

Inchmurrin (46%, OB, Island Collection, Madeira finish, 2015)

Inchmurrin (46%, OB, Island Collection, Madeira finish, 2015) Two stars and a half
First time I’m trying one of these NAS Inchmurrins. I guess the word ‘Island’ refers to the wine, not to the whisky. Smart! No, seriously, it's related to those small islands on Loch Lomond. Colour: gold. Nose: whiffs of copper, old coins, passion fruit, chamomile, sour apples, then fresh sawdust. It’s relatively elegant, and more fermentary than the grain (eh, obviously). Mouth: unusual for sure. Sage and caraway mixed with custard and apple juice, I would say. Some porridge, ginger cookies, spicy bread… That’s the oak I suppose. Another one that’s fair. Finish: medium, pretty much all on oak spices, chiefly ginger and nutmeg, as well as the obligatory slightly heavy vanilla. Comments: another good dram that’s seen quite some active oak. No complains here.
SGP:551 - 79 points.

Inchmurrin 18 yo (46%, OB, Island Collection, 2015)

Inchmurrin 18 yo (46%, OB, Island Collection, 2015) Three stars
The previous ‘black silkscreened’ OB was good (WF 80). I think these new ones are a little expensive, but there… Colour: gold. Nose: same style as that of the NAS, just bigger as far as metallic/copper notes are concerned. Some nice camphory touches in the background, agave, young calvados… And oriental bread plus Seville oranges. Intriguing and nice. Mouth: indeed, this is better despite that oak that’s a tad loud. Quite some re-racking must have taken place (I wager). Otherwise apples and mangos, custard, vanilla fudge, and a little white chocolate. Finish: medium, rather more on speculoos and nutmeg. The oak speaking out again. Comments: it’s got something clearly modern (American oak) and it’s well made. No contradictions here, mind you!
SGP:551 - 81 points.

Loch Lomond 18 yo (46%, OB, 2016)

Loch Lomond 18 yo (46%, OB, 2016) Two stars
I know, being late again… Colour: gold. Nose: not much, the Inchmurrins had much more to tell us. Vanillin, sawdust, lactones, fresh baguette, cornflakes, furniture polish and beeswax… That’s all jolly nice, but it’s a pretty narrow profile, I would say. Mouth: vanilla, apple juice, slivovitz, wholegrain bread, and quite some oak tannins. I think the oak feels too much here, gimme back my Inchmurrins! Finish: a little nicer, meaning fruitier. Perhaps a touch of smoke, not too sure. Wood smoke. Comments: it’s pleasant, and it defeats many a blend, but as a proper single malt, it feels a tad too vanilla-ed to me.
SGP:441 - 76 points.

And so back to Inchmurrin (aren’t we very single-minded?)…

Inchmurrin 10 yo 2007/2018 (53.5%, Kintra, 1st fill bourbon, 234 bottles)

Inchmurrin 10 yo 2007/2018 (53.5%, Kintra, 1st fill bourbon, 234 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: gold. Nose: more’s the word here. More mangos, more fresh bread, more fudge, more ripe apples, and more cappuccino. All is well so far. With water: same, just fruitier and brighter. Mouth (neat): very good, with mangos, Danishes, apricots, and just touches of fresh oak. No complains here. With water: a little more fresh oak coming out again, together with some ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and all the rest. A pattern, it seems. Finish: medium, a tad tannic but the fruits are there to keep it very well balanced. Comments: feels modern, but that’s no real problem when the works were properly done.
SGP:551 - 84 points.

Inchmurrin 13 yo 2004/2018 (50.3%, OB for The Whisky Mercenary, cask #2231, 230 bottles)

Inchmurrin 13 yo 2004/2018 (50.3%, OB for The Whisky Mercenary, cask #2231, 230 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: straw. Nose: a good step up, we’re now finding fresher, clearer mangos and maracujas, some pinewood smoke, a touch of school glue, lovely whiffs of torrefaction (coffee being roasted), and some proper chocolate. Lovely, really, with no ‘modern’ oak in the way this time. With water: a little mint. Not sure water’s needed by the way. Mouth (neat): yes sir, this works a treat – and frankly and between us, I’d have never said ‘Loch Lomond’. Mango ice cream, barley sugar, honeysuckle, orange blossom water… Not a throwaway in the bunch. With water: excellent. Same combo, plus more fruity herbal teas. Finish: medium, a little more on orange cake. All this orange blossom is still there, while I do love that. Comments: indeed it is a surprise. Terrific Inchmurrin, extremely well selected (don’t tell me it was all done from spreadsheets!)
SGP:641 - 88 points.

Let’s try an older one (indeed, this could have been an Inchmurrin session)…

Inchmurrin 23 yo 1993/2016 (56.5%, Signatory Vintage, hogshead, cask #2854, 260 bottles)

Inchmurrin 23 yo 1993/2016 (56.5%, Signatory Vintage, hogshead, cask #2854, 260 bottles) Three stars
Some sister casks were pretty good. Colour: gold. Nose: unusual, in a pleasant way. A touch of young Comté cheese, then dandelions, vanilla, custard, fresh oak, and just wee whiffs of ink, or new book. Some white chocolate as well, is that an Inchmurrin thing? With water: it offsets almost everything, leaving us with vanilla and sawdust. So, please no waters. Mouth (neat): excellent, it’s just that the Mercenary was even more to my liking. This one’s got notes of oak-aged limoncello, if you see what I mean. With water: indeed, water’s not very necessary. Sawdust, vanilla… Drop that, if I may! Finish: medium, very nice and fresh when unreduced, almost plankish when reduced down to approx. 45%. Comments: you got it, keep your water for the geraniums.
SGP:451 - 82 points.

Time to put an end, perhaps with a wee peater?

Croftengea 10 yo 2007/2017 (56.6%, Jack Wiebers, Fighting Fish, bourbon, 324 bottles)

Croftengea 10 yo 2007/2017 (56.6%, Jack Wiebers, Fighting Fish, bourbon, 324 bottles) Four stars
Fighting fish? And why not? Colour: white wine. Nose: young ex-bourbon Ardbeg, with just a little more porridge and beer… for a while. Then dirtier, tarrier notes of burning wood, barbecued lambchops, cactus, and geranium leaves indeed. A bit odd, pleasantly so. With water: store closed. Really. Barley and wood smoke. Mouth (neat): what we would call ‘sweet peat’. Distilled IPA (who’s going to try that? Brewdog?), pears, elderflower jelly, fresh cardamom… It’s really unusual. With water: very good now! Smoked almonds, citrons, marzipan… Finish: quite long, almondy, yet fresh and citrusy. Something oriental, hard to describe. Oh, yes, aniseed, raki, ouzo and such stuff. Comments: a lot of fun to be had with some – not all – of these Croftengeas. Shall we call them ‘pleasantly deviant peaters’?
SGP:5556 - 86 points.

Bonus, a last minute entry from Israel

Inchmoan 14 yo 2004/2018 (52.4%, OB, for Holy Dram IL, bourbon hogshead, cask #68, 220 bottles)

Inchmoan 14 yo 2004/2018 (52.4%, OB, for Holy Dram IL, bourbon hogshead, cask #68, 220 bottles) Four stars
Nothing to moan about here, I’m sure, Inchmoan being one of the peated version of Loch Lomond. Colour: gold. Nose: very peculiar, rather on a lot of grass smoke, garden bonfire, tincture of iodine, fermenting kelp on a beach, then a little vinegar, cumin, green peppercorns and cider apples. It’s a rather unusual smoky/sour profile. Sour fruits, paraffin. With water: very nice, on lit cigars and rather more paraffin, linseed oil, used engine oil… Mouth (neat): it is more ‘normal’ on the palate, very smoky, slightly acrid and pungent, with huge amounts of grapefruits and lemons. Green tropical fruits (star fruits, perhaps), grass, leaves, lemon peels, juniper… With water: more towards fresh tropical fruits (maracuja), with a little salt and a bright earthiness. Reminds me of that slightly challenging celeriac eau-de-vie that some crazy Alsatian distillers are making when no one ‘s watching. Finish: long, green, smoky. Green mustard, even wasabi in the aftertaste… Comments: not a copy of any Islayers, not at all. I’m rather fond of this very green smoky baby, I have to say.
SGP:376 - 87 points.

(Many thanks, Gal and Lucero!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Loch Lomond we've tasted so far






Whiskyfun's Home