Royal Lochnagar 30, 1974-2004, 56.2% – Rare Malts

And once again, I managed to find a bridge between one week and the next. This week we’re switching to the Highlands instead of Speyside. We do so through last week’s review of a Benromach from the Rare Malts series, into a Royal Lochnagar in the same labelling.

So, yet another bottling from quite some years ago. This one was bottled in 2004, almost 19 years ago (it was bottled in April). And once again, a 30 year old whisky bottled at 56.2% ABV is quite a high octane dram for the age. Never say the Rare Malts weren’t consistent in that regard!

Image from The Whisky Exchange

Now, I don’t know much about Royal Lochnagar distillery. For some reason it’s one that I never paid much attention to unless someone gave me a sample for whatever reason. Their official bottlings are always bit under the radar, with only a 12 year old being their core range and the occasional special release from Diageo.

Surprisingly, I had another rather old one (from 1973, to be precise) last year, which happened to be the second mention of the distillery on my blog. In 12.5 years… A rare malt indeed.

It smells like the alcoholic version of a distillery’s mill room. Lots of dusty barley and cast iron. A tad minerally, and a hint of old bottle effect. Rather crisp, all in all.

A fairly gentle arrival, but with a bit of a crisp bite. Green apples, iron filings, lots of dry grist and barley stores. There’s a bit of oak too, as well as a white peppery heat.

The finish shows a little bit more of the OBE. Although it’s pretty intense, most flavors are quite light. Apples, grapes, iron. Some oak and old, dusty barley.

Much like the other one it focuses heavily on the core ingredients of single malt whisky. There’s oak and barley, and all other notes play second fiddle to those. Surprisingly, this happens without being boring or dull, and makes for quite an interesting whisky with those minor notes really making the experience. Unfortunately, I can’t really compare to modern and younger Lochnagars because I’ve not tried them. So far, the old ones are pretty awesome!



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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