Hello all, and welcome to the new look TWE Blog! The Whisky Exchange’s resident design bod has tarted up the blog’s look and we now feel like some sort of internet whisky blog dandy in a new suit. To celebrate, I thought I’d taste a lovely new whisky we’ve just bottled.
To business, then. As some of you may know, The Whisky Exchange previewed a number of new bottlings at last year’s Whisky Show – and one of the most popular on the day (and the quickest to sell out) was this Lochside 1981, the remaining stock of which has finally arrived after a delay caused by a few technical issues. I couldn’t remember much detail about it except that I really liked it (I tried a large number amazing whiskies at last year’s show), so I thought I’d better give it another whirl:
N: Rich and fruity initially with red apples and delightful old polished oak. Gets slightly waxy after a minute. Golden syrup and treacle. Quite raisiny. Airing cupboards and linen. Hazelnuts, praline, getting more honeyed. Cocoa, flapjacks and dark chocolate. The oak notes become leafy and heathery, almost perfumed. Very fresh and pleasant despite its age. Water lifts apricots, sugared almonds and wonderful grassy compost and wax jacket aromas – fantastic old Highland notes.
P: Big wave of oak spices, then toasty malt. More savoury than the nose suggested – almost beefy. Obviously a serious whisky, but quite hot and drying at full strength – water required. With water: becomes nutty and waxy – hints of old Clynelish or Balblair. Lots of hitherto unseen tropical fruit. Apple or rhubarb crumble. Once the water has assimilated this is really something special.
F: Sustained oak, some brine and ‘sherry-ness’ if that’s a word. Almost more like an Amontillado than an Oloroso.
C: Nearly thirty years in Oloroso wood can’t disguise the fact that this is top-end old-school Highland distillate of the highest order. It really needs a drop of water to reveal its full potential on the palate, but the neat nose is sublime as well.