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

March 1, 2021


Old young and young old Lochside

Hunter Laing are having a new Lochside! It sure wasn't easy to find a proper aperitif and we settled for an old G&M CC at 40% vol. It's another name that never quite caught our attention as long as there was only a pretty lousy official 10 by Spanish owners DYC. And then came the IBs… Let's see if these will be some much expected fruit bombs…

Lochside 20 yo 1965 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, old brown label, +/-1985)

Lochside 20 yo 1965 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, old brown label, +/-1985) Five stars
We tried this one quite a few times already and always thought it was brilliant. But careful, some labels have been photocopied in the past and this Lochside's one of them. I mean, not this particular bottle mind you… The two (or three?) 1965s by G&M were stellar anyway. Colour: gold. Nose: pure mangos and peaches, plus pink bananas and a subtle chalkiness. Touches of white currants, which is always wonderful. Amazing nose, close to that of some old cognacs that have been aged with care using only well-behaved oak. Mouth: oh! Pure clean old Petite Champagne with no signs of any oakiness as such. Nutshell: more pink bananas and mangos, more juicy vine peaches, touches of beeswax, chalk, then citrus (limes and tangerines I would say). Luminous old whisky, just a wee tad drier than I remembered it. Finish: pretty long, with this salty tang and always this wax that reminds me that these 1965-1966 Lochsides were pretty close to Clynelish. But there hasn't been many… Other than that, the same fruits keep dancing in the back of your throat… Comments: extraordinary aperitif. Watch the fakes though (especially the ones with unusually shiny photocopied labels).
SGP:651 - 92 points.

And so the new one…

Lochside 39 yo 1981/2021 (52.9%, Hunter Laing, The First Editions, sherry butt, cask #HL17831, 309 bottles)

Lochside 39 yo 1981/2021 (52.9%, Hunter Laing, The First Editions, sherry butt, cask #HL17831, 309 bottles) Five stars
A very small number of 1981s have been flying around in the very recent years but I doubt there will be many more. Also, I like it that they would not have waited until it's 40! Colour: full gold. Nose: phew, the sherry was well-behaved too, and the trademark mangos may express themselves with confidence in this context. Very lovely fruity freshness, absolutely no signs of over-aging, just more complexity and refinement. The wee pink bananas are back too, maracuja, certainly some beeswax, lime blossom and honeysuckle, whiffs of well-cured cigars, grapefruits, hops… Well I find it more complex than other 1981s, including sherried ones. Awesome nose. With water: a little rounder, more on cake, Danishes, crème caramel, cheesecake… With a little mango coulis over all that! Mouth (neat): this one's perfect and certainly stands up to the brilliant G&M. Very citrusy, chalky, with a little menthol, salt, a little more paraffin than expected, perhaps something medicinal too (Colgate's mouthwash – that's cheaper indeed), quite some pomegranate too. With water: the 1965 takes the lead now, but by a very, very small margin. A little shoe polish. Finish: long and spicier. Pepper over more mango coulis and grapefruits. Notes of raw fino in the aftertaste. Comments: I think water was not needed. Anyway, superb Lochside, even after the legendary 1965. I would say new enthusiasts may have to act swiftly before there's no more Lochside at all.
SGP:651 - 90 points.

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