Located on a farm in Ayrshire which was Robert Burns’ home and workplace, Lochlea Distillery began distilling their whisky in 2018 making use of their own barley and natural water resources for full traceability from field to cask.
The much talked about 4 years old whisky has been aged in a combination of first-fill bourbon and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, and has been bottled up at 46% ABV without chill-filtration or additional colouring.
Appearance: Honey gold. A nice oily coating on the glass and quick-forming medium legs.
Nose: A mixture of orchard fruits and soap greet the nose first. It also noses quite ‘thin’, there’s a water aroma that, for me, dilutes the aromas from what you imagine they could (and should) be.
Lots of barley sugar drops, a touch of pine and pic n mix cinema foam sweets.
Palate: A thin mouthfeel, spice presents first, mixed nuts, wood notes, followed by digestive biscuits, and citrus peel.
The spice note is mostly sweet with cinnamon and nutmeg, but with a white pepper heat tingling on the tongue too.
There’s a new-make rawness, which in new-make is fine, but in whisky isn’t a pleasant element. It’s quite astringent and also drying on the throat.
There’s a ‘diluted’ feel to this whisky, if I were blind tasting I’d guess 40% and not the 46% that it’s actually bottled at.
Finish: Short to medium. The sweet spices and citrus last the longest. There are traces of the digestive and some honey too.
Overall: Needs longer In the barrel in my opinion. Although the nose is pleasing and full of those orchard fruits, the palate lets the whisky down and doesn’t feel like it’s ‘finished’. The casks could have imparted much more of their magic, given time.
The flavours don’t really marry or have the right balance for me and the new-make rawness is just not my cup of tea.
I’d be slightly disappointed with the £50 RRP if truth be told. Sorry.