...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Loch Lomond 21 year old 1996 Cadenhead Small Batch

(Loch Lomond cluster homepage)

When buying a single cask of Loch Lomond, make sure to note whether it's a single malt or single grain, since I've seen both out there. I am not reviewing any of their single grains in this cluster (though the official 18 was pretty darn close), not because I have anything against LL's single grains, but because I have everything against single grain whisky in general.

Today's Loch Lomond is a double cask (two hoggies) of 21 year old whisky bottled by Cadenhead. It was well received by the Whiskybase community, especially for a Loch Lomond. I wonder if I'll be able to detect if it's really "Loch Lomond" or another one of the distillery's styles. Probably not, but it's worth a try!

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Style: Loch Lomond
Owner: Loch Lomond Distillery Company
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Cadenhead
Range: Small Batch
Age: 21 years (1996 - 3 Dec 2018)
Maturation: two bourbon hogsheads
Outturn: 450 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 51.5%
(from a bottle split)


Lots of citrus fruits, mint leaf, raspberry jam and cardboard arise from the early nose. Hard toffee gradually morphs into buttery caramel. Hints of dried leaves, balloons and peach skin appear after 30+ minutes. It has a toasty palate. Toasted barley, toasted mixed nuts, toasted nutty bread. Some tangy, tart oranges fill the middle, with white peaches in the back. The finish reads sweeter than the palate, mostly on the oranges. Salt and wood smoke linger in the background.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Oooh. I like this better. Honey, grapefruit, blossoms and shortbread biscuits on the nose. Malt and bolder fruit (limes, grapefruits and tart apples) in the palate. It finishes less sweet, but plenty fruity and malty.


I was on the fence about this one when trying it neatly, as I'm really not a cardboard (plus balloons!) fan on the nose or palate, and the finish was just so-so. Though I did like the palate's toasted notes. Dilution lifts it up. Everything in this whisky works better at 46%abv. Perhaps with a full bottle and a steady hand, one can find the perfect strength. It tops the official 18yo with ease, but can't quite top the OB 12. Good stuff though. And no, I can't tell if this is Inchmurrin or regular Loch Lomond.

Availability - Central Europe, though possibly sold out by now
Pricing - ???
Rating - 85 (diluted only)