Old Rhosdhu 29, 1990-2020, Refill Hogshead 416, 48.2% – WhiskyNerds

About two weeks ago the newest WhiskyNerds release came out. This time they opted for an Old Rhosdhu from 1990. Old Rhosdhu is one of the older brands of Loch Lomond Distillery.

So, in a way this is not a new distillery for them, but it is a new brand. My guess would be that it is a new brand for most of us, since you don’t come across it often, if ever.

They did the bottling together with Wu Dram Clan, which is a German club of folks whose taste it at least on par with the WhiskyNerds. I’ve had the luxury of tasting some of their past bottlings and I’m quite the fan.


I guess now is as good a time as any to write a little bit about this ‘new normal’. Not in regards to COVID-19, but in whisky pricing.

Loch Lomond has never been an overly popular distillery. In most cases I think that’s justified, but they do release some awesome bottlings now and then. However, a few short years (and one massively long year) ago this would result in prices being a little bit below average.

This is, after all, not a brand for which there are many collectors and it doesn’t really fly off the shelves.

However, with so many people fishing in the same pond, prices have started to soar once more. The WhiskyNerds’ Allt-a-Bhainne of a little while ago was an expensive one, too expensive for what it was. Let’s not even talk about the Caol Ila.

And now we sit here, looking at a 29 year old Old Rhosdhu that goes for (at least) € 225. I’m having some trouble letting that sink in.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand why this happens, and I also understand that Bram and Floris (and the Wu Dram Clan, in this case) don’t have much choice, if any. But as a broad development in the world of whisky, it seems that it gets more and more absurd. Even when we don’t think it can get anymore absurd.



Image from Whiskybase

Let’s get back to the good stuff. Let’s do tasting notes!

Sniff:
Light, with some funkiness. Paper, hessian, straw. Dried apple peel, porridge. Hints of candied lemon. Smoked butter.

Sip:
The palate is quite a lot sharper than I expected. Straw, oak, hessian, paper. Also slightly sweeter on the fruit side. Ripe pear, warm apple sauce.

Swallow:
The finish touches upon the light side of grain whisky, a hint of copper of some sort. Wood, apple and pear.

After all my nagging, I think the € 225 is acceptable for a whisky like this. There are some inconsistencies between the nose and the palate, but not so much so that it’s becomes an issue.

There are notes that I found hard to pin down and describe. That’s my limited palate acting up, I guess. However, I love the high complexity and uniqueness of the whisky. It’s not often that something ‘unique’ like this pops up, and that’s worth something!

90/100

Available at lots of good whisky shops

Thanks for the sample, Nerds!

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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