Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Loch Lomond’s ‘malted barley single grain whisky’

In a world where whisky fans want to try and drink everything, there should also be a spot for single grain whisky. Loch Lomond released a bottle of whisky made from 100% malted barley that is exclusively distilled in their inhouse Coffey Still. It is even proudly stated on the bottle itself. And that made me think… is that even allowed?

I scrolled through my archive and found an article I wrote for De Kiln, a Dutch whisky magazine from back in the day. The article is a report on a distillery visit to Loch Lomond in Alexandria in May/June 2016. We were on our way to Islay for the 200th birthday of Lagavulin, and decided to make a stop there. Fate has it, that there we tasted the same whisky we will review today, when it was still in its infancy. I don’t want to keep from you the following passage:

“It is whisky exclusively distilled in the silver still and tastes much better than regular grain whisky. Why does he [the master distiller] not mention on a future bottling, the fact that the grain whisky is distilled from only malted barley? Loch Lomond claimed the Scottish Whisky Association would not allow it. It would confuse customers, who mainly know these words in association with single malt whisky.” Apparently, Loch Lomond found a loophole to promote their unique selling point.

We asked for a comment on the above, but while we hold our breath, read the tasting note:

Loch Lomond Distiller’s Choice, bottled at 48,8 % abv

Makeup: A bottling from 2023, single grain whisky distilled in the Continuous “Coffey” Still of Loch Lomond, matured in first fill and refill oak.

General impressions: A fruity, bubble gum nose but certainly not as dull as grain whisky can be. From first sniff this Loch Lomond validates its existence. The mouthfeel is rather firm which makes for more opportunity to really experience the liquid. The stuff comes in a black bottle, and this is a good choice , because it comes off quite brooding and dark. This is serious whisky, at times even hinting at a vodka vibe. I got to say I'm surprised by how fierce this is.

Conclusion: This is the primary feel of it: a fierce whisky. It is not as elegant as single malt and with that it loses a lot of points, but as an alternative for white rum or vodka I can totally see this work ... and work well!

Score: 77 points

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