Announcing our latest Whisky Exchange exclusive – a rare chance to try one of Loch Lomond’s wide range of single malts that don’t usually see the light of day as single malts. Introducing our brand new Croftengea 2008.
Here’s what I thought of it:
Nose: Chocolate, liquorice and candied lemon start proceedings, with a rich background of earthy peat smoke. A sharp stewed apple fruitiness dominates the centre, dusted with sugar and drizzled with warm tar and TCP.
Palate: Rich smoke rolls around the mouth: a bonfire of burning peats, tarred planks, liquorice root, cocoa nibs and a handful of damp bracken. Sweetness hides behind: soft liquorice, more chocolate, minty hints, lemon Lockets and a touch of drinking chocolate. A drop of water opens everything up beautifully.
Finish: Salty caramel and burning leaves fade to leave ash and lemons. The citrus lingers for ages, with smoky tar and oak hanging around in the wings.
Comment: A big smoky dram, with a rich and chocolatey core run through with sweet smoke and occasional flashes of seasidey island character, despite not being from an island…hints of Lagavulin, maybe?
What is Croftengea?
Loch Lomond is one of the distilleries that excites me the most in Scotland at the moment. I’m a colossal whisky geek and Loch Lomond does more weird and wonderful geeky things within its walls than anyone else in Scotland. With four types of still, 14 styles of whisky – 13 malt and one grain – and a healthy program of experimentation, the distillery has stacks of interesting whisky hiding in its warehouses.
Learn more about Loch Lomond’s malt whisky here on The Whisky Exchange blog – Thirteen styles of whisky, one whisky distillery.
Last year, we worked with Loch Lomond to release a Whisky-Exchange-exclusive single-cask bottling of Inchmurrin 2001. It’s the style of whisky that made me re-evaluate Loch Lomond when they relaunched a few years back: packed with orchard and tropical-fruit flavour, Inchmurrin is now a staple of my whisky cabinet. But our next Loch Lomond project has been waiting in the wings until now.
Croftengea is the name the distillery gives to its smokiest spirit. Peated to 40ppm and distilled using the same straight-neck pot stills as Inchmurrin, it’s got the intense peat smoke you’d expect as well as loads of fruit. We selected a 2008 vintage single cask and have been keeping an eye on it over the past year. We tried a sample in March and realised it was time to get it bottled and out into the world – it is now available on our website.
This exclusive Croftengea 2008 is now available both online and in our Covent Garden shop. And on that note, we’ll soon have a new shop! Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for news of our new shop, opening on Great Portland Street as soon as we finish building it.