Category Archives: Scottish Whisky

Loch Lomond Single Grain

Loch Lomond Single Grain Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
$30
Website
Loch-Lomond-Single-Grain-376
What the Distillery Says:
Single Grain is an elegant and full bodied single grain with a smoothness making this exceptionally easy to drink. A single grain scotch whisky with a distinctive background character of soft fruits and creamy vanilla with a hint of smoke and peat. Perfect anytime over ice or with a hint of water.

Nose: Fresh cut barley fields with a malty edge, biscuity with baked apples alongside gentle lemon peel.
Palate: Crisp and delicate. Pineapple juice and a lemon zestiness with a lovely vanilla sweetness at the end.
Finish: Gentle with soft fruits alongside a juicy sweetness.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Lemon zest, fresh grated ginger, and pineapple flavor Lifesavers candies.
Palate: Very sweet. All the sweetness hinted at in the nose follows through here. More citrus and candied pineapple with a peppery kick.
Finish: The spiciness kicks it up in the finish but playing around edges of fruity sweetness.
Comments: Usually, I find really sweet scotch to be off putting but with the extra kick of proof it works. This is almost a fresh fruit dessert in a glass. Traditionalists may not be the first to line up for this but old and new hands alike should give it a try. It is kind of like lemoncello, bourbon, and grain scotch had a love child.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank the Loch Lomond Group for sending us a bottle to review.

Loch Lomond Reserve

Loch Lomond Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky
40% ABV
$20
Website
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What the Blender Says:
This unique premium blended scotch whisky contains both malt and grain whisky distilled and matured on the banks of Loch Lomond in the very heart of Scotland. Each barrel is selected for its character and maturity, then expertly blended to create a well-balanced whisky that delivers a perfectly smooth finish.

Nose: NEAT – Big broad malt aromas build on first impression. There is strong hint of depth, body and weight behind these early flavour notes. However there is, when looked at carefully, a very subtle light fruit, soft fruit sweetness evident just behind the bigger more developed malt notes. DILUTE – A soft, floral note appears once water is added. More the hint of early spring blossom than anything heavier and with that a subtle honeyed sweetness that develops a warming spiciness as time passes with the sense of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Palate: NEAT – An extraordinarily dark, fruity and sweet first impression. Seville Orange Marmalade on hot bread, both sweet, sharp but with a creamy maltiness. The fruit becomes fresher and more candied as the palate develops and once again there is a sweet but firm ginger quality to the mid palate. Marmalade notes give way to ginger snaps. DILUTE – The wood influences become far more evident. Now there are soft vanilla notes that then combine with emerging lighter, fresher, softer fruit flavours. More melon and apple with a light honeyed texture in the background. Honeyed, sweet, softer.

Finish: NEAT – The remarkable palate with the pronounced cooked fruits and spice slowly subsides and there is a gentle fading sweetness, a hint of floral notes on the wind. DILUTE –
Gradually the soft fruits become softer and more luscious. There is a sense of very ripe melons giving way to a light syrupy finish.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Fruity, and floral with dominant malty cereal notes.
Palate: A nice delicate sweetness. Honey and fruit infused simple syrups play with lighter floral and grassy notes. Orange blossom honey maybe?
Finish: A little fruit and ginger tang that quickly fades to a more peppery spice.
Comments: This is a blend for those who like their scotch a little more on the light and sweet side. It’s a very pleasant dram. At $20 a bottle, I think it is a solid value and stands above other like priced blends.

Also, a quick clarification about the name. The “Loch Lomond” name is used by the company for the single grain and single malt that they make at the distillery in addition to blends like this one whose components come from that malt and grain. A bit confusing so take a close look at the bottle and make sure you are getting what you think you are.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to that the Loch Lomond Group for sending us a bottle to review.

Glen Scotia Double Cask

Glen Scotia Double Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
$70
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Our Double Cask is matured in our finest oak barrels then finished in a combination of first fill bourbon barrels followed by time in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks to produce this outstanding malt whisky that provides the perfect balance of rich spicy fruits, overlaid with the characteristic sea spray and vanilla oak finish for which the house of Glen Scotia is famous.

NOSE Amber. Very sweet. Initially it is all creme caramel, caramelised fruit sugars, wood sugar, toffee and fudge before some apple and peach come through. In time a charred note of bourbon with a pleasing dusty dryness. Has some power.

PALATE Sweet start and quite fat and though the alcohol gives a little tongue-tingling buzz the result is a good mid-palate weight. The dry distillery character is there still, but there is now depth to counter. Water slightly dismantles the different elements, but adds some dried mint.

FINISH Deep and dark.

What Richard Says:
Nose: The nose is very sherry forward. It reminds me more of an Oloroso than the Pedro Ximenez that they use. Raisins, stewed fruits, and creme brulee come to mind.
Palate: There is a very nice creamy viscosity to this one. More deep sherry notes, dark fruits, and vanilla extract.
Finish: Cracked pepper, polished wood, and a nice mint note carry this out to a medium length finish.
Comments: I am a bit of a NAS-hater (no age statement whiskies). I find their proliferation displeasing and the whisky in said bottles usually disappointing and overpriced. However, every so often I get surprised. Maybe it is my low expectations or the skill of the blender. Either way, these exceptions are few and far between. While this Double Cask Glen Scotia isn’t awe inspiring, it is a very solid well made dram and I enjoy it. It definitely stands out among NAS single malts. $70 is a bit steep for the bottle though. If it was sub $50 it would be a real winner.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank the Loch Lomond Group for sending us a bottle to review.

Glen Grant 18 Year

Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 18 Years
43% ABV
$120
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
This unrivaled single malt matures for at least 18 years in the highest quality, handpicked oak casks, which creates a radiant golden colour and seductive floral and oaky aroma.

Deeply layered and complex, this rich and vibrant whisky delivers beautifully intricate flavours of malted caramel, vanilla, and raisins and lingers with a long, sweet, and pleasantly spicy finish.

Tasting notes
Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Rich and floral with oaky overtones and hints of baking spices
Taste: Malty caramel, delicate, dried raisins and vanilla
Finish: Long, sweet with hints of nuts and spice

What Richard Says:
Nose: Grassy and straw-like with floral and crisp apple notes. In the background is a hint of treacle with honey and citrus rind.
Palate: Fresh malted grains and fresh cut hay drizzled with vanilla extract. There is also a light sweetness around the edges but it isn’t a forward sweetness at all. A little too delicate
Finish: The finish has some legs to it but it’s dancing out woody and slightly peppery.
Comments: This one just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t firing on all cylinders. The elements were light to the point of being barely there. If it only had a more buttery flavor and texture then I would’ve thought it was a grain whisky but not an exceptional one.
Rating: Probably Pass

We would like to thank Glen Grant for sending us a sample to review.

Glen Grant 12 Year

Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Aged 12 Years
43% ABV
$50
Website
12-years
What the Distillery Says:
Glen Grant 12 Year Old is a remarkable single malt.

With a bright, golden colour and pleasant aromas of orchard fruit, almond and citrus, this exceptional whisky delights the palate with exquisite and delicate notes of apple pie crust and caramel, and finishes with lingering fruit and subtle hints of spice.

Tasting notes
Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Honey, pear and apple with hints of almond and citrus
Taste: Apple pie crust, caramel and vanilla
Finish: Lingering fruit with subtle hints of spice

What Richard Says:
Nose: This nose is all kinds of light and fruity. That description gets a bit over used but if there was a tasting notes dictionary then this dram would be next to “light and fruity”. Sour apple candies, under ripe pears, orange blossom honey, and dew on fresh cut hay.
Palate: The whisky remains crisp and fresh to the taste. Granny Smith apples, vanilla candles, and some sweetness that’s like a house made floral infused simple syrup.
Finish: Kind of meh on the finish. It’s so light that wasn’t really expecting much.
Comments: You know, I really am not a fan of all this recent fancy, trendy new packaging for old whiskey brands. Glen Grant, Elijah Craig, etc. are all under this umbrella. I’m probably too old fashioned but I like the old stodgy packaging. This new sleek and sexy bottle for Glen Grant is just too damn sleek and sexy. I realize I’m in the minority and this rant has nothing to do with the liquid in the bottle but damn it I want dimpled hand blown imperfect glass with papyrus labels pasted on with horse glue. I want OLD!!!

So back to the actual whisky in the bottle…it’s okay. This is not a stunner by any means but it’s a light easy drinker that would be fine as an aperitif or a daily drinker for fans of the “Three Glens” (Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie).
Rating: Average

We would like to thank Glen Grant for sending us a bottle to review.