Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

The Clydeside Distillery Stobcross

Many whisky enthusiasts who do not have the luxury to come in by boat via Newcastle (and thus bring a car), find their port of entry to Scotland either in Glasgow or Edinburgh. As a distillery close to these major cities, you are wise to make sure tourists come spend time and money at your place. And if possible, have something to eat too. This is how me and a group of friends on a layover to festivities in Campbeltown happened to end up doing a distillery tour at the brand new “TCD”.

The Clydeside Distillery has a stunning stillhouse which cannot be missed upon arriving. It has a giant glass construction, on which the sun has free reign (when it shines). Overlooking the River Clyde and the old docks, with at the horizon the futuristic Riverside Museum, the views from inside are also not too shabby. The distillery is a prime example of a pristine operation.

As seasoned whisky lovers, the rather mundane tour offered us no surprises. But it must be noted that two couples joined our group, one of which had never before visited a distillery. They loved it. At this location in Glasgow, TCD choose wisely to offer this entry level tour. (You can however book more in depth tours if you want, with the distillery manager for instance.) Also, if you like seeing casks maturing, you will not find them at TCD. Maturing casks in the city is prohibited, not unlike similar legislation in Dublin.

The tour ended with the tasting of purely bourbon matured Clydeside on the one hand, and purely sherry matured on the other. I preferred the sherry version very much, but the team has decided not to make it available in this form just yet. In the distillery shop you can find some nice cask and batch strength variants though.

At home, I had already batch 2 open, which I will review here.

The Clydeside Distillery Stobcross, batch 2, at 46 % abv

Makeup: Batch 2 of the debut single malt Scotch called Stobcross. According to what we heard during the tour, the makeup consists of bourbon and sherry casks, but the latter very modestly. It shows in the colour, that is natural, and there was no chill filtering involved either.

General impressions: There is indeed little sherry influence to speak of. What remains is, strangely enough, a character that is extremely recognizable as a Lowland Single Malt. I am reminded of the barley freshness that is displayed in Daftmill and the youth of the spirit shares similarities with another newcomer, Kingsbarns. I am really delighted to see the Lowland category been brought back to life over the last two decades, and distillers also understanding it has a distinct and proud signature all its own.

This particular dram opens on lemons and grassy notes, candy cane and light fruits. Thinking of freshly rinsed white grapes. Also a sour note like a Chardonnay. The citrus notes continue on the palate, mixed indeed with grapes and green apple sourness. Mouthfeel is very balanced, there was some good blending going on here to establish this Stobcross expression. The core ingredient gets room to shine, a million compliments to the distillery for not putting this delicate spirit in wine casks or STR.

Conclusion: This is MALT whisky and it is allowed to shine. The heritage of (single malt) Scotch is save with these new producers that are sensible enough not to ruin quality spirit in (for instance) tequila casks. Slainte to the future, it looks bright, with this Glaswegian whisky even invoking some Rosebank memories from days past. Colour me impressed.

Score: 82 points

Disclaimer: taken from a self-bought bottle at Whiskybase.com during their Black Friday sale.