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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Loch Lomond 18 year old

(Loch Lomond cluster homepage)

After having consumed plenty of Loch Lomond's twelve-year-old, I was excited to try more of this improved, fruity, unique spirit. Unfortunately my options were a bit limited here in the USA since my favorite European sellers promptly cut off shipping to The States once Covid went wild. The 17 year old cask strength Organic bottling was of particular interest, but that one went bye-bye.  At ~90USD the 18 year old also intrigued me, but I waited until a sample could be sourced. I'm glad I didn't have to wait too long!

Like Loch Lomond 12, the 18 is aged entirely in American oak casks; though also like the 12, the type of casks aren't specified. Hoggies? Barrels? New oak? First-fill? Eighth-fill? The 12 seemed like refills, which worked very well for it. For the purposes of this review, the 12 served as the 18's sparring partner.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Style: Loch Lomond
Owner: Loch Lomond Distillery Company
Region: Highlands (Western)
Age: at least 18 years
Maturation: American oak casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? Not much if any
(from a bottle split)


A pleasant mix of ocean brine, pears, peaches and flower kiss candy greets the nose first. It gradually settles onto a base of barley, Fritos(!) and toasted granola. Limes, kiwi and lychee arrive first in the palate, but it feels flat and thin. It gets a little bit peppery. Then the tannins arrive. And neutral spirit. In early sips, the finish has the palate's fruits, but it becomes more acidic, tannic and ashier in later sips.


Loch Lomond 18 year old reads like a fatter version of grain whisky, but it still has a single grain's limitations, thus the flatness and inability to hold back the oak's onrush. This doesn't bother the nose, as the 18 smells very pretty, but the palate and finish gradually fall apart. With that developing note of neutral spirit + tannin, the whisky gives the impression that it will devolve into Kessler after an hour on the glass. It's not even close, the 12 wins.

Availability - Available in Europe and North America
Pricing - $70-$100
Rating - 78 (though that might be generous)