A heavily peated Loch Lomond is not something that comes around often. Usually it’s named Inchmoan, which I believe is produced in the unusual straight-necked pot stills. This, presumably, is therefore made in their traditional copper pot stills. (Michael, if you’re reading this and I’m wrong, please let me know.)
EDIT: So, master blender Michael Henry got in touch and turns out I was wrong. A lesson to never assume. This single cask Loch Lomond was made from heavily peated malted barley in Loch Lomond’s straight-necked stills and collected at low strength (a wide spirit cut).
Even more interesting, Henry told me Loch Lomond will stop using different brand names like Inchmurrin and Inchmoan for their single malts, instead housing everything under the Loch Lomond umbrella. They’ve (understandably) had some issues with confusion about the brand names, so they’ll now use flavour descriptors to differentiate the expressions.
For example, Inchmurrin 12 Years will become Loch Lomond 12 Years Fruity & Sweet, while the Inchmoan 12 Years will be relaunched as the Loch Lomond 12 Years Smoke & Spice. Consequently, the Inchmurrin 18 Years and Inchmurrin Madeira Wood Finish will be dropped. Instead, two new releases will be announced shortly, the Loch Lomond Peated Single Grain and Loch Lomond 14 Years Limousin Oak Finish.
Okay, got all that? Back to regular programming!
This refill American oak cask was picked by the people from The Whisky Exchange and released as a shop exclusive. As I’m quite fond of Loch Lomond and their quirky distillery and am curious to find out how this holds up.
Loch Lomond 2006 13 Years Peated (56.8%, OB, C#196)
Nose: Vanilla, cream and ripe bananas as well as some pistachio nuts. Touches of wet pebbles and freshly cut grass as well. A fair amount of sour beer and barley husks too. Of course, this is peaty as well—heavily peated even—but somewhat coastal and mainly civilised as well. Pretty vegetal overall. Taste: Super oily and a sugary sweet arrival, before tumbling down a peaty, agressively spicy hole. Industrial and salty, but also some resin and menthol. There’s charred lemon peel as well. Finish: Sour peat before settling into an array of soft, green fruits. At times almost vegetal.
This is certainly different from most of the peated whiskies that cross my path. It’s rather daring and bold and hard to pigeonhole—which is a good thing of course. If you’re into the traditional peated Islay whiskies, have the guts to broaden your horizons and try this stuff. Available here.