As part of The Dublin Whiskey Festival, a number of talks/tastings were taking place around Dublin. I was invited along to the Loch Lomond tasting in the Smock Alley theatre to experience some Scotch from a distillery I’ve never tried before. Suzanne Redmond hosted the tasting and brought us on a journey of the range from the regular un-peated blends through single malts and up to peated whisky.
Before we started on the Loch Lomond whisky, Suzanne had a little treat for us. An Indian single malt whisky called Rampur. I’ve had Indian whisky before at a whiskey bar in Vilnius called King & Mouse. It was called Amrut and it was a little odd. Rampur was much better thankfully, it was slick and full of flavour. There was a real marzipan/almond thing going on.
Next we moved on to the first of the Loch Lomond range with their Signature whisky. There was a lot of butterscotch which in beer terms I would associate with diacetyl. It’s a nice enough Scotch but not necessarily something I would be looking out for personally.
Things took a dark turn with the Single Grain I’m afraid. This tasted like a cross between Jagermeister and Gin. It was essentially undrinkable to me. There was also a bang of green apples which in beer terms usually means acetaldehyde so I imagine it’s the same here.
Thankfully, we got back on track with this wonderful 12 year old Inchmurrin. A big chewy caramel with a lot of dark fruits and mandarin. It was absolutely delicious and the room essentially savoured this one for a while.
Another 12 year old, this is the regular Loch Lomond single malt and it’s similar to Inchmurran, perhaps a little smoother but it just seemed to be lacking a little of the extra dark fruit flavours I loved in the Inchmurran. Still a bloody good Scotch whisky though.
It was now time to try the peated whiskies and we started with the Glen Scotia Distillery which is now owned by Loch Lomond as of 2014 where they invested heavily to bring it up to spec. Glen Scotia is a tiny distillery though with only a handful of employees. Anyway, this wasn’t particularly peaty, just a hint really. It did taste a lot like a boozy marmalaide though. I could almost spread it on toast. It pretty lovely with a whack of sherry coming through in the finish.
Back to Loch Lomond itself and their Inchmoan peated. This is bascially a peated version of the regular 12 year old where they have used peat kilned malt in the original mash. There’s a load of orange in this one too but also honey and caramel along with a sherry finish. While it’s well peated, it doesn’t quite get up to Ardbeg levels.
With the exception of one, all Of the six Loch Lomond whiskies we went through ranged from pretty good to excellent, my order of preference would be as follows:
- 12 year old
- Inchmoan Peated
- Glenscotia Peated
- Single Grain
A big thanks to The Cask Magazine and Suzanne for putting on the event. It was a great experience and really interesting to find one whiskey maker producing such a wide range of whiskeys. Also, excuse the interchangeable whiskey and whisky spellings. I will always spell whiskey with an e unless I’m directly referring to Scotch or a whiskey where they elect not to use the e such as Rampur.