Day 15 of the 2019 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar – Loch Lomond 18 Year

by Evan

Wow, time flies! We are now into our third week of the 2019 KWM Whisky Calendar! Let’s open door number fifteen to celebrate by tasting the Loch Lomond 18 Year Old. We have already tasted two bottlings from this distillery with Day One’s Inchmurrin 18 and Day Seven’s Inchmoan 12.

With any other distillery, having a third bottle in 15 days would be boring and repetitive, but this is Loch Lomond we are talking about. This is a distillery that creates so many styles of whisky it might be bipolar, have multiple personality disorder, or perhaps even a combination of both. Loch Lomond as a label is the third official style of whisky that the distillery currently puts out. It is purported to be rich and peaty in nature, but not quite as peaty as releases under the Inchmoan label.

Even with the company that owns Loch Lomond breaking things down into a minuscule three releases, this is all befuddling. This is likely what has recently drawn me to this distillery so much recently. I enjoy the weirdness of it all, and trying to make sense of the madness. I definitely don’t have a perfect understanding of the different profiles they create, but that is part of the charm.

Unlike many other distilleries that play with cask finishes or a lot of sherry maturation, Loch Lomond ages most of the whisky they make in ex-Bourbon casks. In order to have more control over the casks that are used for their whisky, Loch Lomond also has an on-site cooperage for recharring casks and also cask repair. They are one of only a handful of distilleries that has this capability on hand.

I have not yet had this bottling of Loch Lomond – in fact, I have not tried most of their new bottlings beyond the two we have already had in the calendar. Given how much I have talked and written about Loch Lomond recently, I am looking forward to trying the 18-Year-Old out. How will this guy stack up against it’s two brethren and the rest of what we have tasted in this year’s KWM Whisky Calendar thus far? It is time to crack that bottle and find out!

Loch Lomond 18 Year Old

Bottled at 46% and unchill-filtered, the Loch Lomond 18 Year was matured in ex-Bourbon Barrels.

Evan’s Tasting Note

Nose: Oily and phenolic in style. Orange Marmalade spread on burnt toast, beer nuts, sesame brittle, maple and brown sugar roasted bacon, crème brûlée, banana split, red rose tea, polished leather and bee’s wax.

Palate: Smokey and tangy with an underlying oiliness. Amaro-like it its bitter and sweet notes – this really coats the tongue nicely. Fuzzy peaches and sour orange sliced candy. candied ginger, chai tea latte with honey, apple cider, Christmas cake.

Finish: Rich, oily and tingly on the fade with a touch of salt and fruit. The Amaro-like bitter-sweetness sticks around.

Comment: Wow. I was not expecting this. For me, this is an incredible whisky. The combination of bitter, sweet and smoke is a wonder. If it wasn’t for the juicy and sweet notes, the bitter oak notes would be way over top. If it wasn’t for that would, this would be flabby fruit and not enough smoke. All the parts of this work together in a wonderful and unique way.

Fifteen days in and we have had some very good bottles, at least in my opinion. This one is at the top of my list of personal favourites from all that we have tasted so far. Could it possibly be topped? Could even Day Sixteen’s whisky eclipse it? I am looking forward to tomorrow so I can find out!

Cheers,
Evan evan@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool

*The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is produced under license from Secret Spirits, Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar™
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