Inchmurrin (Loch Lomond) 23 yr old, 62.3%, A. D. Rattray, Sherry butt #29.

Appearance – This Single Malt Whisky is Light Gold in colour, it beads up on the swirl line, some beads remain on the swirl line, and some drop very slowly with a medium thickness.

Nose – First off it’s the ABV, it’s very high but it doesn’t slap you when nosing it, and the first aromas I get are Red berries, strawberries and raspberries with sweet cocktail cherry juice from a jar of them, dustiness and royal icing notes come through together next, they make a lovely combination, then blood orange, tropical fruits and cereal/grains with a light perfume note.

Slowly it’s developing, and notes you expect from a Sherry butt are coming forward, but they aren’t strong, it’s not a Sherry bomb. Now we have lightly stewed dark fruits, currants, sultanas, the minced fruits in minced pies, cloves and figs, it’s as if they’ve only been soaked in Sherry for a short time, it is an elegant nose. Leaving it for another 10 minutes reveals coffee with milk, and a stronger cherry aroma.

Palate – Straight away it’s much spicier than I expected, and has a good mouthfeel, there’s plenty of white pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, mixed in with fruit cocktail syrup from a tin, and the spiciness slowly ramps up until it’s actually quite hot, the colour really doesn’t give a clue to this palate to be honest.

More time sitting in the glass brings out tobacco leaf, black pepper, aniseed, and interestingly sweet lemon, like the small sugar coated lemon slice sweets, and the spiciness slowly dissipates down to a loverly sweetness all around.

Finish – The finish is medium in length, and an extension of the palate, and slowly it fades away. The dry glass gives off Virginia tobacco notes, a light tobacco, and some milky coffee.

My thoughts – I must say that the range of whisky characteristics that can be produced at the Loch Lomond distillery are impressive with the combination of Pot and Column stills, and even though I knew this whisky is from a Single Sherry butt it is initially more spicy than i expected, I thought it would stay this way, but no it develops into deeper fruit and darker heavier Sherry butt notes, it is a lovely drop of whisky that’s really warming too.

Would I buy a bottle? – Yes I would, a chameleon dram for me in a good way, it’s one I won’t forget for a while, and another I have really enjoyed.

Notes – This whisky is presented in it’s natural colour, non chill filtered and at natural cask strength.

Picture credit The Whisky Exchange.

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