I’ve touted the merit of Inchmurrin before, and I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Because if Angus MacRaild picks a cask for his WhiskySponge label, that feels like a sort of confirmation for me. I feel I can pretty much blindly trust him to pick quality casks, regardless of whether they completely fit my own preferences.
And in case of this Inchmurrin 1993 28 Years from WhiskySponge (Edition No. 53!), it aligns almost perfectly with my own tastes. There’s not much that beats an abundantly fruity, slightly funky malt whisky. Maybe that’s because my whisky awakening lined up largely with the rise of Littlemill in the first half of the 2010s – a whisky from a closed distillery that’s freakishly close in flavour profile to Inchmurrin.
There’s a reason for that of course. And that’s because Inchmurrin is made in much the same way as Littlemill was. Actually, the current Loch Lomond (which is the distillery that produces Inchmurrin) was built by the Duncan Thomas, the then-owner of Littlemill. He installed the same straight-necked pot stills at Loch Lomond that had been used at Littlemill since the 1930s. As far as I know, Loch Lomond and Littlemill are the only distilleries to have used exactly these stills.
And it’s these stills with their rectifying heads that are largely responsible for the distinct flavour profile of Littlemill and Inchmurrin. People are paying a lot of money for Littlemill nowadays, but they’re probably better off buying a bottle of Inchmurrin, much like this release from WhiskySponge. Seriously, I don’t see any reason why you should buy an expensive Littlemill as long as Inchmurrin is available.
Inchmurrin 1993 28 Years (50.7%, WhiskySponge, Edition No. 53)
Nose: A little less funky than other Inchmurrin maybe (less cardboard-y), but that might just be a good thing. Bright, juicy fruits such as guava, pineapple and papaya, but also a touch of marshmallow, damp earth and lemon cordial. Simply excellent. Taste: Arriving on some white pepper, oily minerals and tobacco leaves, but moves on to warm apple compote, lime zest and lemon pith. Finally some breakfast tea, chalk and even menthol. A bit of a deviation from the nose, although the fruitiness remains. Finish: Light spices, some cough drops and barley husks. Lingering fruits and honey.
Accessible? Maybe not. But the Whiskysponge's Inchmurrin 1993 28 Years is adventurous and singular. Even compared to some of the other 1990s Inchmurrin I've tried. This is one to savour and take your time with. And be prepared for something different but high-class.