It’s been quite a while since I properly tasted a Lochside whisky. Well, in a way, since I had one at Teun (of Maltstock fame) in April or May, when we were having a camping trip near him. It was one of those trips where doing grocery shopping ends up being a fun activity, because for once, you’re not too cold to do anything.
So, visiting Teun to pick up and drop off some samples seemed like a good idea. While in his den, we were offered a dram or two, and because of that, the set of samples I took home suddenly got a lot more expensive. This was one of them. The other one was a Glenugie. A review to that will follow.
Lochside is one of those famous closed distilleries, but not one of the 1983/1985 batch of closings. This one lasted a decade longer and got shut down together with distilleries like Rosebank, Imperial, Littlemill. Still quite a few.
Currently, everything from Lochside has gotten expensive, but the bottlings from 1981 are the most famous ones. Luckily, there are quite a few of them, and I’ve yet to try a bad one. The 90s bottlings are far less impressive and piggy-back on the reputation of the earlier vintages. Of course, anything from a closed distillery is expensive now because of all those douchebags that are only in it for the investment.
It starts right away with what these Lochsides are famous for. A complete fruitbasket on a backdrop of straw and barley. Tropical with a slightly acidic touch. Maracuja, dried pineapple and a not of sweet orange and tangerine. Some grapefruit and cranberries too.
The palate continues down the dried pineapple track, even with the chalky dusting they normally have. Passion fruit, straw, oak shavings and a bit of white pepper.
The finish is yet another blast of fruit, with a lot happening all at once. A bit more sweet, but just as tropical. More mango and tinned pineapple than before, papaya even. Straw and barley ears too.
Generally, with the folks that have been trying whisky for a longer time, the fruity ones are the ones that get the most rave reviews. This is one of such whiskies. It’s not been reviewed a lot, but I know one of the few guys who left a review on WhiskyBase and he’s given this 93 points. It’s justified. Even held to a ridiculously high bar, this one scores well.
The combination of a little bit of oak, still being true to the barley origins and the massive layer of various fruits that this one displays make it a truly stunning whisky.