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"Welcome to Soup Town" reads a sign on the label for this Boutique-y bottling. Could that be a Campbeltown reference? Could the whisky in the bottle be Glen Scotia blended with a "Highland" Distillery - perhaps Loch Lomond? Who knows?!? What we do know is that this is one dense and rich whisky! 48.8 %
About the Label (Larger Label Under Tasting Note)
"Another delicious-y blended malt loop on our whisky belt. This bottling has been produced using a “teaspoon” of another expression from a top secret distillery that we absolutely cannot name. So here’s another interesting piece of artwork to throw you off course. As you can see, there’s a queue building along the lovely high street of Souptown. Heading for the The Bonny, Bonny Bank, the crowd pass Glen Coacher Taxis and Highlander Blooms Florist. The town also seems to host a major runway, with two US bombers inbound."
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: First, take a mandarin orange and mash it together with dried seaweed. Then, grind some pepper onto pineapple cubes. Garnish with leaves of mint and basil and serve on a rusted hubcap. Drizzle everything with maple syrup and a balsamic reduction.
Palate: Chewy, savoury sherry notes plus more maple syrup and balsamic, dates, raisins, dried mango, green apple skins, black forest cake with cherries, dark chocolate pudding, and the dregs of over-steeped Earl Grey Tea.
Finish: Dry and leathery with more dark chocolate, espresso, figs, and dates.
Comment: This dry and a touch bitter on the palate style may not be for everybody, but I personally enjoy it quite a bit. The dichotomy between the savoury and the tropical notes is something to behold!
Producer Tasting Note
Nose: Rich, smooth, cocoa, black cherries, hazelnut, subtle spice.
Palate: Spiced honeydew melon, grapes, freshness.
Finish: Complex, hazelnut, smooth sweetness to sharp citrus, raisins, plums.
Originally posted on our blog by Evan for KWM's 2019 and 2020 Whisky Calendars.
Glen Scotia is easily one of the top three operating distilleries in Campbeltown. When it comes to The Wee Toon, it is typically Springbank Distillery that gets all of the love from whisky aficionados. It is easy to see why – Springbank is a grungy Victorian throwback in look and feel. It is an anachronism – a distillery out of time and out of step with modern life – just as some say Campbeltown itself is. Springbank is rustic, dilapidated, inconsistent, and often impossible to find bottles from nowadays. And it is all the more loved because of that.
It should not be forgotten that Campbeltown is home to three distilleries: Springbank, Glengyle (bottled as Kilkerran), and Glen Scotia. Like it's Wee Toon’ cohort Springbank, the Glen Scotia Distillery itself is chock-full of grimy, victorian, and industrial character in all of the right ways. Also like both Springbank and Kilkerran, Glen Scotia Distillery lies within the town itself.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, back when Campbeltown was a more industry-driven place and with a more bustling fishing port, Glen Scotia had neighbouring distilleries on the other sides of the walls that encase its lot. At this time, the story goes, the town had more distilleries than churches which themselves numbered more than thirty. Boom times eventually went bust, and for quite a while only two distilleries remained in the town, though that could have been considered one and a half for how little Glen Scotia operated in the early 2000s.
Andrew tells stories of visiting the distillery more than a decade ago, when it was only sporadically in operation, and very uncared for. Much of the distillery equipment was falling apart. When Andrew and I visited in October of 2019, times had obviously changed. We had a great tour through Glen Scotia’s operations, led by Distillery ManagerÂ Iain McAlister and saw that everything was in operation, the stillhouse had thick coats of paint over nearly every surface possible, and the stills were polished and running.
Glen Scotia Distillery just so happens to be owned the Loch Lomond Group, which we have seen three times already in this year’s calendar with the Inchmurrin 18 Year, the Inchmoan 12 Year, and the Loch Lomond 18 Year. Glen Scotia itself has a fairly robust lineup of five core releases at the moment, including the Double Cask, Victoriana, 15-Year-Old, 18-Year-Old, and 25 Year Old. There has even been a release of a 45-Year-Old, though this is a lot more difficult and a lot more expensive to come by.
Originally written by Evan in blog posts for our 2019 and 2020 KWM Whisky Calendars.
Founded in 1965, Loch Lomond is a bizarre operation that is capable of making multiple different styles of spirit all under one roof. It is capable of producing Single Malt, Single Grain, and Blended Whisky entirely at one site. It can and does do this, and it also makes Single Malt in and a wide variety of styles, including both peated and unpeated types.
There are a total of thirteen stills within the Loch Lomond Distillery, however, they are definitely not all the same. Included in this number are your typical swan-neck style pot stills: the type you see at most Scottish distilleries that make single malt whisky. Beyond that though, things get weird. There are also three pairs of straight-neck pot stills, which are sometimes called Lomond stills. One of these pairs has a water cooling system installed on the top of the still that the heated vapour hits before going through the narrowing neck/pipe for collection. This results in much more reflux and leads to a lighter, softer, fruitier spirit being produced.
Last but not least, there is a six-story Coffey/column still that is actually split in two to accommodate the three-story building it resides in. This still is used to distill malted barley, but due to SWA regulations it still must be called Single Grain spirit in style
With this unusual combination, Loch Lomond Distillery is capable of producing its own blended whisky entirely on-site, without having to source whisky from other distilleries. It is one of the very few (possibly only) active distilleries to be able to do this.
In all, Loch Lomond makes ELEVEN different styles of spirit on a regular basis. For official bottlings, it currently focuses on three styles for regular releases. We are going to taste one of them today. Another point worth mentioning that goes along with this: Loch Lomond also uses a total of three different types of yeast in fermenting the malt. The yeast used is selected based on the style they are looking to create. They of course use a Distiller’s Yeast, which does have different strains but is typically meant to be high yield when it comes to converting sugars to alcohol in the mash. The other two yeasts used are actually meant for wine fermentation though, including one typically used for Chardonnay grapes. The bottom line for all of this is that no matter how strange you think Loch Lomond might be, they have found even more ways to be confounding that we probably don’t even know about yet.
Above: A picture cribbed from Loch Lomond Distillery's website showing a distiller peering into the spirit safe and trying to remember exactly which style of whisky they were producing that day.
The Inchmurrin style made by the distillery is named after the largest island within the Loch itself. At 120 hectares in size, it is the largest freshwater island in the British Isles. The Isle of Inchmurrin – or Mirin’s Island – is named after St Mirin. A monastery built on the island in the seventh century held a chapel dedicated to the Saint, though only ruins now remain.
Inchmurrin bottlings are typically created from whisky produced using straight-necked Lomond stills. They are typified by light and fruit-forward style in comparison to the fuller-bodied, spicy and lightly peated Loch Lomond and heavily peated Inchmoan releases.
The Inchmurrin style is named after the largest island within the Loch itself. At 120 hectares in size, it is the largest freshwater island in the British Isles. The Isle of Inchmurrin – or Mirin’s Island – is named after St Mirin. A monastery built on the island in the seventh century held a chapel dedicated to the Saint, though only ruins now remain.
The name Inchmoan comes from an Island in the freshwater Loch Lomond. It is low-lying and contains marsh areas, woods and grassland. It was once a source of peat fuel for the nearby village of Luss. It is currently privately owned but parts of the small island are used by campers and as a picnic area.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) is part of the Atom Group, which also owns the UK retailer Master of Malt and a number of other subsidiaries. They are a dynamic and innovative firm, who by example invented the Whisky Advent Calendar concept. Established in 2012, TBWC is famous for its playful and colourful labels, which often feature prominent whisky industry figures, tell a story, and or elude to an inside joke. The labels are typically laced with hidden elements and "Easter Eggs."
TBWC bottles whiskies from around the world, though the bulk of their offerings are of Scottish origin. Most of their offerings are small-batch releases, Blended Malts, and Blends. Their "Head of Whisky" is Canadian Sam Simmons.
We are big fans of not only their whimsical labels but also the consistently high standard of liquid they bottle.
Browse all in-stock products from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.