'Tis The Season

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As the weather has finally turned here in California and brought us the blessed rain, I'm starting to really get into the holiday spirit. With this of course comes the added drinking and frivolity that make this such a fun time of year. Pile on top of that the incredible new selection of casks that just landed with our most recent Scotland container and you have a recipe for success this year. Certainly there is no shortage of gifts to give the whisky lovers on your list. The only question is, how do you choose? We are here to help. As the honorable DOG made mention in yesterday’s post, we have a whisky advent calendar of sorts coming your way (and so much more). If you didn't jump on the Jura, take a second look, it's truly a special bottle and something you won't find often at cask strength. To follow up that island number, we have a peculiarity from the eponymous distillery on Loch Lomond.

We have two amazing rarities from the reclusive Loch Lomond distillery this year. We will talk about the Croftengea at another time. Today is all about the single grain. A unique facility, Loch Lomond makes every type of whisky they need for their blends in house. This means they operate a huge number of stills, multiple column stills and multiple pot stills. They make whisky in damn near every combination from heavily peated single malts to peat free malt and multiple varieties of grain whisky. This 22 year old is technically a single grain, but as grain whisky can be made from any grain, this so happens to be made from malted barley. Think of this as a much, much older version of Nikka Coffey Malt.  As fans of our extensive grain program know when grain whisky gets over the two decade mark, it's a whole new ballgame. The richness of time shows itself in what is otherwise a traditional blended whisky filler. Add to that the inherent complexity of malt as the grain for this cask and you've got fireworks. At first subtle, but building steadily into a crescendo of fruit, fudge, and spice. This is a sexy little dram to add to your drinking portfolio.

At 22 glorious years, this grain whisky weighs in at a friendly 54.1% ABV. It's mellowed considerably from its high proof fill over those 22 years. All the while it has picked up a great richness and complexity that makes grain whisky so appealing. Opening with a bit of fudge and toffee it moves into the lighter realm of stone fruit and sweet spice as it opens in the glass. Chocolate and mocha come back around on the palate as the malt makes itself clearly known. A little nougat and creme brulee work their way into the finish and the whole thing starts all over again. This is textbook old grain with a bit of a single malt twist. A very unusual and enjoyable whisky. A rare find without the rare price tag and the superbly accessible nature of the spirit makes this a perfect gift for just about anyone you know that likes brown spirits.

1995 Loch Lomond 22 Year Old “All Malt” Single Grain Scotch Whiskey - $89.99

Andrew Whiteley