Blind Tasting Competition 16 – Loch Lomond Craiglodge, 9yo, 45%

This one is DARK. A really rich, and deep brown. Although it shouldn’t mean anything, it does look very appealing. Stuf you really want to drink since it looks utterly delicious.

I didn’t score any points today and this time I am entirely to blame. I came to the conclusion (after 16 drams in a row) that I’ve been going at it all wrong. I have to admit that I am not really concerned about the competition part of the BTC, but I still would like to score ‘some’ points every now and then.

Why have I been going at it all wrong? What I have been doing is trying to remember a dram that tastes comparable to the one I am having at the time. This means that you take in all factors and you’re no longer concerned with the details.

Today’s dram, for example, is only 45%. I filled out 55%. The only way such a strong dram can taste gentle is by having some serious age to it, but still, 45% should never taste like 55%. Then, why did fill that in? Because the colour and palate of the dram reminded me of a whisky I had years ago. While it helps to remember stuff every now and again, in this situation it should have set alarms ringing that the 10% difference can never be handled by sheer age. 55% is A LOT stronger than 45%.

What did send me wrong is the colour and gentleness. For some reason in a blind tasting I never expect ‘drinking’ strength whiskies. That means that I am trying to explain gentleness in combination with cask strength => age.

In this case, the whisky doesn’t have the depth to be 31 years old, as I guessed. Captain Hindsight, out.

The tasting notes I wrote before I found out what it is:

One of the million brands of Loch Lomond. Image from Whiskybase

One of the million brands of Loch Lomond. Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
A very soupy kind of sherry. Still some whisky in there but you have to strain to find it. Bitter, sweet and ridiculously oaky. There’s shoe polish there as well, and maybe the doughy bit of Christmas Cake, and dates. Also a certain cherry thing going on. Not sure what, but it smells good!

Sip:
Lighter than expected, but starts building on the chili peppers. Stays calm though. Turns a bit sharp but apart from that, and loads of oak there isn’t much happening. The oak is the main instrument of this dram. Heavy, and I can imagine some people not liking this that much. I do, however.

Swallow:
It’s dry, oaky and rather bitter on that bit. Also sweet with sticky toffee pudding. It has a bit of an almond edge.

This is an interesting one. There’s only oak happening, or almost that at least. It reminds me of a Benrinnes I had a couple of years ago that was as dark as this one, or maybe even darker. I don’t know many that were this dark, apart from a Dailuaine that came out in the same series. I know Dailuaine for its bitterness so I’m going for that bottling. With this much oak there better be some age too, since it’s a fairly old whisky.

End of tasting notes.

I should have realized that the lack of depth and the fact that it’s ONLY oak can only be because of it not being a very old whisky. Silly me.

Oh, and why Dailuaine? The bitterness sent me there. I find Dailuaine in many cases to have a beery kind of bitterness that would only be accentuated by the oak. That’s why.

Loch Lomond Craiglodge, 9yo, 45%, 1998-2007, some € 36 according to Whiskybase, but no longer available.

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y and beer. I like to listen to loads of music and read an occasional book. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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One Response to Blind Tasting Competition 16 – Loch Lomond Craiglodge, 9yo, 45%

  1. Pingback: Blind Tasting Competition 17 – Caol Ila 1982-2006, 26yo, 54.3% – Duncan Taylor Rare Auld | Malt Fascination

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