It’s hard to believe the turnaround Loch Lomond made since it was acquired the Loch Lomond Group almost eight years ago. First introduced in 2020, the Loch Lomond 21 Years is another fantastic whisky from this ingenious distillery.
Like I’ve explained many times before. Loch Lomond is an extremely versatile distillery that produces many different new make spirits. They have traditional pot stills, as well as column stills that are only used for a 100% barley mash. But what really sets them apart are their straight-necked pot stills. These stills have traditional pot still bodies but rectifying plates in their necks. The inventor was an American called Duncan Thomas.
He immediately installed these stills at the current Loch Lomond distillery when it was built in 1966, but had already been using them at his other distillery since 1931. Which distillery was that, you might wonder? Well, that would’ve been Littlemill, the closed distillery that has reached near iconic status in the past decade.
It should be no surprise then that the spirit distilled in these straight-necked stills at Loch Lomond often pretty closely resembles the original Littlemill flavour profile. Which brings us back to the Loch Lomond 21 Years, because this expression has been wholly produced in said straight-necked stills. It is blended from three different styles of spirit, two of which are peated. They all matured separately in American oak casks before being married for the final three months before bottling.
Indeed, this bit of information gets me pretty excited about the Loch Lomond 21 Years. What should we expect? A sort of peated Littlemill? Count me in!
Loch Lomond 21 Years (46%, OB, 2021)
Nose: Plenty of dried grass, barley and a whisper of cardboard, this is certainly somewhat reminiscent of Littlemill. What follows is best described as a fruit salad. There’s plenty of apricots, mango and tinned peaches with just a whisper of peat and fennel. Taste: Some white pepper on the arrival followed by farmy peat and lots of fruits, again in the region of mangoes, peaches and maybe also some stewed pears. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it is not lacking in flavour. Finish: Lingering peat with some pastries, dried grass and a whisper of tropical fruits.
It is a wee bit thin on the palate, but otherwise the Loch Lomond 21 Years delivers on its promise. It has the fruitiness that you expect from an Inchmurrin, with the subtle peat influence of Inchmoan.