Despite having been built 1964, Loch Lomond was actually a distillery in 1814. That distillery has long since closed, but the modern day Loch Lomond is flourishing.
Based in the Highlands, is a brand that knows their roots and has a great Scottish feel to them.
Their history is one of both success and failure, having fallen silent in 1984. They were later re-opened in 1987 by Alexander Bulloch with the help of the Glen Catrine company.
Since then they have become a respected Whisky brand and were also one of the first distilleries to produce both grain Whisky and malt on the same site.
They are still producing these today and have a great range of expressions, released under various brand names, including Loch Lomond and Inchmurrin.
Bottle cost: £25.75
Their Loch Lomond release titled Original is a fantastic example of what they can do with their malt.
The nose opens with herbs and floral flavours that are surrounded by a wonderfully subtle smoky aroma.
The peated is earthy, with lots of grass and heather notes coming out of it. It is deep yet not overwhelming.
Underneath the peat is a delicate sweetness of burnt caramel and toasted wood.
The palette has a more malted note to it, with lots of cereal grains coming through. There is a warmth to this malted flavour, partly added to from the smoke.
There is also a hint of sweet nuts such as hazelnuts that add a lovely smooth texture to the whole thing.
The finish is strong, with the sweetness coming through as thick, dark caramel and treacle. The grains of the malt go perfectly with this flavour.
The 12 Year Old
Bottle cost: £29.95
One of Loch Lomond’s best malts is their 12 Year Old. This is a complex and light malt that is full of fruity flavours.
It has been matured in three different casks, including ex-Bourbon, refill casks and recharged casks.
The nose is brimming with apple and pear, giving it a lovely sharpness. This is complemented by the zesty citrus peel that also makes an appearance.
These flavours go perfectly together and are not subtle at all. They pop out, with lots of taste and invitation to try more.
On the palette the tang of the fruit is given a sounding board from a deep biscuity note that is rich with malt and grain flavours. This is the perfect offset to the sharpness of the fruit.
There is also a lovely hint of sweet white sugar coming through, with a slightly warming note to it. This ties in well with a subtle hint of peat smoke that wafts in towards the finish.
And on the finish itself, the peat smoke becomes fully realised, with lots of warmth and softness. It wraps itself around the other flavours and ties them together well.
INCHMURRIN 12 YEAR OLD
Bottle cost: £41.95
The Inchmurrin branch of the Loch Lomond brand is a celebration of the islands found in the actual loch itself.
The 12 Year Old is a particularly fine dram and is matured in the same three types of barrels as the Loch Lomond 12 Year Old, but with a different recipe.
It is bursting with earthy, floral flavours and opens with a nose of peach and pears that are juicy and sweet. There is a nice depth from a grassy undertone that is rich and thick with flavour.
This is a very natural tasting dram and the earthy tones continue on the palette. The grass is joined by heather and blossom, giving it a lovely floral taste.
There is also a sweet, warming caramel flavour that goes perfectly with the ripe peaches, pear and apricots that come through.
These have a sweetness like white sugar and are offset with a wonderfully tangy citrus note of lemons and orange.
The finish wraps these flavours all together, with a delicate warmth and final dose of grassy freshness.
LOCH LOMOND SINGLE GRAIN
Bottle cost: £27.95
The Distillery’s Single Grain is as equally complex as the other bottlings in the range.
It has been matured in ex-Bourbon refill casks and is wonderfully peated.
This Single Grain has a lovely smooth quality to it, which can be hard to get with a Single Grain.
The nose opens with citrus fruits and malted barley. The cereal notes are soft and gentle, allowing the more biting citrus to really ounce off them.
There is a dessert quality to the nose, with a little hint of pastry and sweet breads. Apples and pears also join the flavour profile, bringing in a little bit of an orchard note.
The palate is packed with lots more fruit and a vanilla sweetness. The oak of the barrel also comes through.
The peat smoke is subtle but interesting, wrapping itself around the sweet, slightly acidic citrus fruits.
More exotic notes of pineapple and pink grapefruit alos come in with lots of sweetness.
This goes well with vanilla notes coming from the oak wood.
The finish is full of citrus and more malted cereal. The peat smoke is excellent on the finish and wraps everything up well.
Inchmoan 12 Year Old
Bottle cost: £43.95
This malt has been crafted in a straight neck still, allowing more esters to remain in the liquid. This makes it citrusy, with lots of sweet and acidy notes appearing.
It has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks that have been refilled and recharred, giving it a nice smoky background.
It is especially good at bringing together smoke and spice, having been distilled in both a straight neck and swan neck still.
The nose opens with spicy black pepper that you can really sink your teeth into. This is accompanied with peat smoke and soft vanilla flavours.
There is also a hint of citrus fruits and a gentle reminder of the oak from the casks.
The palate is gentle but bold, with more peat and a slightly floral flavour. Bitter dark chocolate and coffee, with a hint of star of anise and nutmeg appear.
The spice is warming and smooth, melting in well with the oak wood, which in turn becomes slightly more vanilla in flavour.
The peat really comes alive against this backdrop and is perfectly complemented by the peppery spice.
The finish is packed with more spice and a little hint of pear and lemons.
Inchmoan 1992 Vintage
Bottle cost: £205
This dram has been distilled in Loch Lomond’s straight neck stills and is brimming with fruit flavours. It has been matured in ex-Bourbon American oak refill casks.
It was first distilled in 1992 and has been matured for a long time, allowing the sweeter notes of the wood to combine effortlessly.
The nose opens with peat, iodine and vanilla, all interacting and jumping off one another.
They are combined with elegance and brought together with a soft oak wood flavour.
This continues into the palate, which has a lovely honeyed sweetness.
Vanilla, peat and lots of fruit abound. Apples, pears, lemons, grapes and bananas are all present.
These have a lovely honey and caramel glaze dripped over them, giving a delicate sweetness to their tangy fruit flavours.
There is also a slightly warming cinnamon note that goes perfectly with the vanilla and oak wood.
The finish is strong, with lots of spicy cinnamon flavours and a lasting note of oak wood.
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