On Whiskybase there’s a remark for this whisky that it was sold in auction in 2015. Don’t I know it! I finally managed to get my hands on an old Glenlochy! It’s one from Cadenhead’s from two decades ago, so I knew to expect an austere, high octane whisky from an American oak cask.
I don’t have much experience with Glenlochy, but I got to try one from my buddy MZ (who I should meet again sometime soon, note to self…).
The Fort Wiliam distillery was closed in 1983 when a lot of Diageo plants closed due to the vast recession and huge overproduction in the 1970s. It was built only in 1898, to just make it in time for a whisky recession then, because of the Pattisson Crash.
I have been intrigued by whiskies like this, since they are a bit more ‘authentic’ than a lot of things happening now. A lot of modern whiskies are engineered to a certain profile, while stuff like this was, I think, a lot more happenstance.
On the nose we get grain and flinty notes. Quite mineral rich, with green twigs (spruce?), oak, thyme. Also some notes of apple (including the iron) and resin.
The palate is unsurprisingly sharp, but also rich and oaky. Ferns and other green dewy foresty notes. Some chili pepper heat, with some green herbs as well. Blue clay and twigs.
The finish is slightly more focused on the oak, but doesn’t lose the minerals and iron. Quite austere. Herbs, with a warming, earthy quality. Rather long too.
So yes, this is bloody awesome. Of course, it’s quite a typical Cadenhead’s whisky from the ‘old style’ of Cadenhead’s. Generally I don’t go for those whiskies, since they tend to be a bit monotonous. However… This one fits the style and has boatloads of character, while not diverging from the standard. So, in the end I love it.
Of course, this stuff is very hard to get. Generally the only Glenlochys, or other more obscure distilleries that closed in 1980s, are only available when shelling out north of € 200. I find that sometimes acceptable, but even then you have to stick to the not-so-popular bottlings.
Sherry casks from Signatory or Duncan Taylor are far more expensive than this stuff, but let’s just keep trying!
Glenlochy 1977-1996, 18yo, 60.5%, Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection. Expect to pay around € 300 in auctions, I guess…