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Thursday, June 2, 2022

Loch Lomond 30 year old

(Loch Lomond cluster homepage)

It's time to bring the Loch Lomond cluster reviews to a close with the eldest of the siblings, the 30 year old bottling the distillery rolled out in 2020. I'm not sure what the outturn was for this batch, but the official site does say that it's made from unpeated spirit that was first aged in "American oak casks" (again), then finished in first fill Oloroso casks. Though I'm not a fan of finished brown spirits, there are many types of finishes, fashioned by different producers for varying amounts of time. Let's see what Monsieur Henry's team has created here.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Style: Loch Lomond
Owner: Loch Lomond Distillery Company
Region: Highlands (Western)
Age: at least 30 years (??? - 2020)
Maturation: first "American oak casks", then 1st-fill Oloroso casks
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 47.0%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? Not much if any
(from a bottle split)


Many things going on in the nose: eucalyptus, milk chocolate, tangerine, saline, cardamom and newspaper print. Some warm hay in the background. The milk chocolate note expands with time. The peachy palate has lots of peaches, sweet peaches, tart peaches and floral peaches. But there's also a squirt of lime juice, some fresh parsley and a hint of metal. More nectarine than peach in the finish, with touches of brine and amaro bitterness.

Normally I don't add water to a 30 year old single malt, but this one is telling me it needs a few drops. Or at least I think that's what it's saying. I don't speak Gaelic.

DILUTED to ~43%abv, or ½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Nothing was lost in translation. Figs, dried apricots, dried cherries, aromatic toasted oak and newspaper print highlight the nose. The peaches mellow out in the palate, and are met by bitter citrus, a hint of savoriness and an almost-peat earthy note. The finish's length expands, mixing amaro, newspaper print, sweet citrus and sea salt.


It swims! As much as I adore fruity whisky, the extra depth brought out by dilution improved the experience. Though older Loch Lomond exists, 30 years may be this whisky's peak; after that the oak can start stomping around. The Oloroso finish worked well, to the point that I wonder if this was more of a secondary maturation, or a gentle warehouse? No matter what the secret is, this was a good malt to bring the cluster to a close.

Availability - Europe
Pricing - $500-$700, depending on the conversion rate
Rating - 88

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