Glenlochy 1979-2012, Refill Sherry Hogshead RO/12/04, 46% – Gordon & MacPhail

I only ever had one bottle of Glenlochy in my collection. I got it after reading about ‘Whisky of the land‘ in one of the April Fools articles on WhiskySponge, which is a very good article that I sometimes even re-read.

Back then, it was one of the best whiskies in my collection. Maybe not the highest scoring, which sounds really weird, but it was very interesting and unexpected. And while that didn’t necessarily translate into a rating based on flavor alone, it did make for the whisky I loved to come back to most.

So, when I got the chance to try another Glenlochy a little while ago, I jumped on it, even though it wasn’t exactly a cheap sample. Of course it wasn’t, because Glenlochy has been closed for almost four decades.

Of course, when it closed down it wasn’t regarded as a must-keep distillery, obviously. Likely it was a highly inefficient, old place that hadn’t been properly maintained, and was cranking out a spirit that wasn’t all that fashionable in the early eighties. Enough reason to cut that one, if you have to make cuts. Now, 39 years later, it’s a shame because some of the most characterful distilleries are no longer around and we all shell out big money for those 1 or 2cl trips down memory lane.

Let’s have one of those trips.

Image from Whiskybase

There is that typical scent of old whisky that can only be found in old whisky. Not all whiskies from before about 1980 have it, but when you find it, it is such a pleasing thing. This dram has it. It is that slightly funky scent, but not in a similar way to modern day Springbanks, although that is not far from the mark.

On top of that there is old white oak, steeped barley, stale bread and a whiff of vanilla. In the background there is a note of iron, minerals and apple.

The palate starts with a surprising amount of ‘poivre gris’, a mix of white and black pepper. Over baked pound cake, some sweet coconut (think Bounty bars), baked apples. That note of iron is found on the palate too.

The finish brings back that old whisky from the nose. It does push back other notes, but in this case that’s not too bad. Very gentle on the way down, with soft notes of oak, apple, and some vanilla.

Even though it has that great note of old scotch on the nose and finish, there are not too many other things happening. Glenlochy is not an onerly familiar distillery to me, but I did expect a bit more character. Based on the limited experience I have with the distillery, that is.

So, a very good whisky, but not as good as I hoped it would be. Expectations and management thereof, it is a thing…



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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