Croftengea might not ring a bell, even if you’re quite an avid whisky fan. That’s not strange at all, as this is a whisky not often encountered. Furthermore, there’s no such thing as the Croftengea distillery. Instead it is a brand produced at the multifunctional Loch Lomond distillery.
You might’ve heard of whisky from Loch Lomond, such as this one, or such as the Inchmurrin, which is produced in straight-necked pot stills. These are copper pot stills, but instead of the traditional swan neck, they are equipped with straight necks that have a set of rectifying plates. It makes for a very fruity distillate.
Croftengea, like Inchmurrin, is produced in the straight-necked pot stills. Where it differs from Inchmurrin is that Croftengea is made with heavily peated barley. Of the thirteen types of spirit the Loch Lomond distillery produces, Croftengea is actually their most peated.
This particular Croftengea was distilled in 2008, and matured in a refill American oak hogshead, before being bottled as an exclusive for The Whisky Exchange.
Croftengea 2008 9 Years Old (54,8%, OB for TWE, C#272)
Nose: Surprisingly mellow, not intrusive at all. Pretty coastal, with hints of peat smoke of course, as well as brine and salty seaweed. However, this also has a inviting fruity layer, very much of the tropical kind. Grapefruit comes to mind, as well as banana and apricot marmalade.
Taste: Sweet peat with a pinch of salt and a hit of tar, followed by tropical fruits. Those straight-necked Inchmurrin stills certainly get the job done. Lemons and pink grapefruit mostly.
Finish: Long, tarry and salty, with a fruity encore.
Loch Lomond for the win, again! This might be an unknown, but it can keep up with any of the young peated whiskies produced on Islay.
Sample provided by The Whisky Exchange