Lochlea First Release, Bourbon and PX casks, 46%

Yet another distillery that has recently come on steam. The very first release of Lochlea is this three year old whisky from First Fill Bourbon and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, bottled at a decent 46%.

Contrary to most other new distilleries, I didn’t really have this one on my radar until John Campbell, of Laphroaig fame joined their ranks half a year ago or so. I kind of like the idea of quietly beginning a distillery without too much fanfare, and see where the product takes you after a few years.

Let’s see where this Lowlands whisky does take us!

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
It’s very youthful, with a bit of a forced cask influence. The combination of newmake, with quite some corky wood influence, make for a bit of a eau-de-vie experience. A mix of dried fruit and twigs.

Sip:
Pretty intense, with a more balanced palate than the nose made me expect. Dry oak, white pepper, twigs and some cinnamon. Some green tree bark, moss and hay.

Swallow:
The finish is a bit more like the nose. A bit more youthful again, and a bit more forced.

Interesting, and in a way very promising. Somehow I expect such a spirit to age well. Contrary to some other new distillery’s products, this one feels a lot younger and more like it’s not ready yet.

This youthfulness does promise things for future release, I suspect, but I’m far from convinced now. It’s certainly drinkable, and it does have its perks, but compared to the other new ones (Raasay, Ardnamurchan, Torabhaig, etc.) it does taste a lot younger and far less ready.

It’s more in line with things like Ailsa Bay and Annandale, of which I don’t expect there to be bad spirit, but their bottlings haven’t been that good yet, either.

80/100

Of course, with this being a limited first release, prices have soared and where this one started at € 70, it currently starts at € 150, and there are some asking € 400

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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