The Whisky Exchange keeps pumping out exclusive releases and this time, a 180 turn from the Old Pulteney 2004 that was released recently, going for a whisky from a far less familiar distillery and brand, matured in ex-bourbon casks – Croftengea 2008 Vintage.
Croftengea is the brand name given to the peatiest whisky produced at the highlands distillery of Loch Lochmond. Loch Lomond distillery has 4 types of stills that can produce 14 possible whisky styles. For Croftengea, the same setup as Inchmurrin whisky was used, but the barley is peated to 40ppm.
Croftengea 2008 9 Year Old TWE Exclusive (54.8%, £69.95)
Nose: Mellow nose but it does have a heavy dpose of earthy peat smoke at first, fruity with lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, green papaya and a bit of honey, sprinkled with a pinch of salt, After a few minutes less peat smoke and stronger fruitiness. Continue reading
Today’s review is Inchmoan 12 Year Old, the peated sibling of Inchmurrin from Loch Lomond Distillery. It was distilled using the distillery traditional swan neck and their unique straight neck pot stills (Also known as Lomond Stills). matured for 12 years in re-charred American oak and refill bourbon American oak casks. Bottled at 46% without chill-filtering (although with added caramel). At the moment it’s only available at UK shops but global distribution will follow in the coming months.
Inchmoan 12 Year Old (46%, £44.45)
Nose: Malt and cereals, bright sweetness with touches of floral and vegetal edges, honey, soft clean earthy peat (Islay it’s not…), moss and gentle damp wood which is one of my least favorite notes (to say the least) but it somehow works OK here with the bright sweetness. After a few minutes there’s floral perfume and gentle burnt wood in the background. Continue reading
As soon as I opened dram 16 of the competition, I knew it’s something special but I had no idea how nasty Ewald can be. With my guess I went for Cadenhead Littlemill 23yo but instead of basking in the light of my new 100 points, we got another Loch Lomond whisky (a different brand so somehow it’s legal) and I was left with an utter surprise and zero points.
How big of a land mine is that dram? It doesn’t even have a whiskybase.com page! Oh well, I did guess the bottler correctly!
Cadenhead’s Inchmurrin 1974 41 Year Old (47%)
Nose: Sweet honey, a tad floral and perfume-y, chalk and a bit of dust, sometimes it feels chiseled (as serge says), remote stone fruit, apricots, unripe yellow plums, nails polish. With water: less dusty/chalk and fruitier. Continue reading
I failed miserably with Day 5 and didn’t score any points so I hoped to reverse the course with this lightly peated dram. It was a confusing experience tasting it as at first it’s very subdued and then opens up to reveal a very gentle peated expression with a touch of sherry notes. I thought it’s probably some older Islay whisky and I went for 22 yo Caol Ila 43% and as expected, it was totally wrong. Who would have thought that a decent whisky can come out from Loch Lomond and at that infant age.
Inchfad 2001 6 Year Old (Loch Lomond) (45%, 375 bottles)
Photo credit: whiskybase.com