...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Things I Really Drink: Loch Lomond 12 year old

(Loch Lomond cluster homepage)

There are TIRDs, and then there are TIRDs. This is a real TIRD. I went through three bottles of Loch Lomond 12 year old over an 18 month period. And I don't "go through three bottles" of anything ever, except when I was in my Power's phase one decade ago.

After being genuinely shocked by the quality of a LL12 sample in 2019, I sought out a bottle in 2020. And sure enough it arrived in local OHLQ stores. As a gift pack with Inchmoan 12 and Inchmurrin 12 minis. For $29.99. The Covid Era was just beginning and this seemed like proper apocalypse whisky, so I bought three gift packs. This is why I had all of those Inchmoan and Inchmurrin minis, and this is why my daughters have three large blue caskets for their small stuffies.

As per the picture, I'm reviewing the green glass version of the 12. The owners changed the packaging yet again in 2021, so the bottle you'll see in stores now is made of clear glass and the label font is different.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Style: Loch Lomond
Owner: Loch Lomond Distillery Company
Region: Highlands (Western)
Age: at least 12 years
Maturation: American oak casks
Bottling date: 14/08/2019
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? Not much if any
(from my third bottle)


The nose begins with a waft of fermenting white fruits. Citrons, oats, wet stones and whole wheat bread crust arrive next. Hints of pilsner, cocoa and almond extract highlight the background. Malt fills the palate's foreground, with a lively bitterness and moderate sweetness around the edges. Lemons gradually take over, with wisps of wood smoke and flowers in the back. It finishes with zesty, bitter citrus, malt, ginger and a little extra sweetness.


As I noted three years ago, "Leave Loch Lomond neat and it will kick Glenfiddich 12's and Glenlivet 12's asses all around the block." And that's just the palate. The nose has a heft, quirk and complexity not found in $30 whiskies anywhere anymore. But the whisky's performance in a highball is what really made the liquid disappear from my bottles. Yes, a single malt highball. The 46%abv and lack of filtration boosted the whisky to stand up boldly to club soda, ice, bitters, and any sort of garnish. This Loch Lomond 12 year old was a joy and a surprise, and I look forward to trying the newest version as well.

Availability - Widely available, but probably with the new packaging
Pricing - $30-$40
Rating - 86