The Whisky Shop hand-selected this single malt Scotch whisky. The 50ppm peated barley used to create Loch Lomond Cask #18/550-12 was distilled in a straight neck still with a wide cut (low collection strength) in March 2003.
The second maturity of 18 months in a 1st Fill Tawny Port Hogshead followed the initial maturation of just over 11 years in refill American oak.
Only 315 bottles were filled, with a natural cask strength of 53.1% abv, and they were bottled in February 2020.
Appearance: Copper gold. A substantial swirl mark and quick-forming medium legs form when agitated. After a while, large teardrops sink slowly down the glass.
Nose: A decent ABV wave. Lovely sweet smokey aromas emerge first, liked meat being smoked over cherry wood. Earthy notes of bark and wet forest floor, together with pine freshness merge together. There are some dark fruits and berry aromas, but they’re subdued at first by the smoke. As the glass matures and I become acclimatised to the peat, the fruity dark notes do come through more, maybe rum and raisin ice cream and definitely cherry. There’s a malty and slight citrus element to this whisky too.
Palate: A nice smooth mouth feel, not hugely viscous but not thin either. Initially spicy with menthol coolness and some wood notes. Grape juice, Sodastream lemonade concentrate and possibly tropical fruit bubble up next. At this stage, I’m unsure about whether I agree with the palate.
It’s a palate unlike anything I’ve tried before, it’s almost like kid’s medicine that’s disguised with one fruit flavour or another, but you can still taste the not-so-nice flavours underneath.
As with many whiskies, the more I drink the more friendly this becomes.
The last couple of sips of the sample I have were fruit concentrate bombs, which gives me hope that a full bottle would probably reveal the full potential of this whisky.
Finish: Medium to long. The menthol, lemonade and odd fruit flavour linger longest. There’s some heat, but not enough to warm the chest.
Overall: On paper, this sounds awesome, but I’m not convinced after sampling. It does have many redeeming qualities but the odd fruit medicinal note, in particular, isn’t to my taste.
I reckon I’d need a bottle to make a complete assessment given the fruit bomb final few sips, as these were sublime!? Only one other whisky has done the same thing – Lagavulin Distillers Edition, and I’ve craved that bottle ever since!