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Monday, March 9, 2020

Croftengea 12 year old 2006 The Daily Dram Poisonous Frog Series

Yes, this one of those confusing independent bottlings that does not have a drawing of naked woman on the label. I know, you're asking yourself, "How am I supposed to know it's indie scotch without there being boobies on the bottle?"


Maybe you can jerk it to the Poisonous Dart Frog instead.

I don't really know what these amphibians have to do with single malt whisky either, but if any whisky would be secreted by a poisonous frog it would be Loch Lomond. ❦❦❦❦❦  I love me some Croftengea, Loch Lomond's heavily-peated single malt, and this will be the oldest one I've had yet.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Brand: Croftengea
Owner: Loch Lomond Distillery Company
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent bottler: The Daily Dram
Range: Poisonous Frogs
Age: 12 years (2006 - 2018)
Maturation: bourbon cask
Alcohol by Volume: 51.6%
(from a bottle split)

It noses like nothing else thanks to its dose of Loch Lomond Grimy Weird™. There's some manure and flowers (they have to grow somewhere). Lemons, grilled pineapple and citronella candles. It picks up hints of honeydew and vanilla bean with 30+ minutes in the glass. The palate's peat is very salty, as if it had been soaked in the ocean for decades. There's plenty of malt. A bit of whole wheat toast and burnt pie crust. Tapioca pudding and peanut butter(!). It finishes with a salty, mellow peat smoke, a good bitterness and tart citrus. Toasted barley and burnt pie crust.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose gets toastier. Campfire, honey on biscuits, barley and moss. The palate picks up more herbal bitterness and Thai chiles. A little bit of vanilla frosting, but not too sweet. Some earth and metal in the background. It finishes with wood smoke, pepper, salt, sugar, earth and herbs.

Since Ledaig had to go and get itself cleaned up two decades ago, Croftengea has become King of Crust Punk scotch (with no apologies to Finlaggan). The characteristics in this particular single cask probably shouldn't work together, but they do. In fact, it's a strange dirty delight. Water does calm it down a bit, polishing it up to something more commercially viable. If Loch Lomond doesn't become the next hip thing, then I look forward to Croftengea at ages 15-20. Meanwhile 8-12yrs will do just fine.

Availability - Some Continental Europe retailers
Pricing - €75-€85ish
Rating - 87