...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Where's the Love? Loch Lomond Batch 1 That Boutique-y Whisky Company Single Grain Whisky

Well this is a nice little triangle, isn't it?  In one corner, there's the oft troubling messy whisky from Loch Lomond.  In the next corner is the indie bottler whose samples (sold by their own retailer) always come out weirdly.  AND!  This is an NAS single grain.

Some random trivia:
--Loch Lomond is often cited by Tintin fans as Captain Haddock's booze of choice.  Well, it ain't this Loch Lomond.  Captain Haddock was introduced in 1940.  The distillery wasn't built until 1965, with production commencing in 1966, and the whisky not entering markets until around 1970.  So the make-believe character was drinking make-believe whisky.  Blistering barnacles!
--Loch Lomond distillery is not a member of the Scotch Whisky Association.  So that's kinda punk.
--There's a hand-knitted stuffed stegosaurus next to my computer right now and he's trying valiantly to make it look like he's not interested in what I'm typing.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Owner: Loch Lomond Distillery Company
Independent Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC)
Age: damfino
Maturation: yes
Type: Single Grain
Region: Highlands (Western)
Alcohol by Volume: 52.4%
Limited Release: 191 bottles
(Sample purchased from Master of Malt by Tetris and donated to D4P. Thank you!)

The color is gold.  The nose is......unique.  I've never smelled a whisky like this, grain or malt or blend.  At first it was pine sap, citron, and lychee.  And then WHAM, this huge note of mango seed.  Having gnawed on my share of mangos (awesome in salsa, btw), I've discovered this intense sourness when I get to that that big-ass seed in the middle.  This whisky smells like that flavor.  While that scent doesn't go away entirely, some caramel and cinnamon join it after some time.  Kristen found a butterscotch note when she sniffed.  The palate has a mellower version of the mango seed thing.  There are larger notes of Red Hots candies, burnt wood, and especially fresh ginger.  The usual blah grain note is well hidden under all of this excitement, but it does gradually emerge.  And along with it comes an ever growing note of juniper.  Soon it's just juniper, ginger, and mango seed.  And that is exactly what carries through in the finish: juniper, ginger, and mango seed.

WITH WATER (a little below 40%abv)
The nose mellows out.  Citron, mango seed, caramel, cinnamon, and now some bread crust.  My first note about the palate: "barrel-aged gin".  Juniper, lime, ginger, mango seed, cinnamon, sugar, and caramel.  The finish doesn't change much other than getting sweeter.

I swear this is barrel-aged gin.  And I was about to write a whole big paragraph about it since I though I was being so original, but then I discovered that someone on Master of Malt's site already made this same observation.  So click here (and scroll down to the User Reviews) for the guy or gal who discovered it first.

But unlike the person who left that review, I kinda like this stuff.  Not necessarily as a whisky, but instead as an experience.  While I'd be totally happy to hate on TBWC and Loch Lomond, I can't here.  This is weird enough to be cool.

Unfortunately, it seems to be totally sold out.  It does make me wonder how Loch Lomond's grain whisky fares in general.  MoM has an 18yo single cask of LL's single grain, but $140 for 18yo grain whisky?!  No thanks.  If you've had any experiences with Loch Lomonds single grains, let me know in the comments below.  This one was a hoot!

Availability - Sold out?
Pricing - was €47.50 or £37.95 two years ago
Rating - I don't really know how to grade this.  I dunno, 80?