Lochside Distillery – Short lived and Bitter

Lochside, in the Eastern Highlands, fell silent in 1992, after only 35 years of operation as a distillery, during which time it was owned by MacNab and was producing both grain and malt whisky for the “Sandy MacNab” brand. The distillery was sold in 1972 to Domecq, who used its output for a Spanish market low cost blended DYC whisky they produced. When Allied bought Domecq in 1992, the distillery was summarily monthballed, and was demolished in 2005 when Pernod Ricard took over Allied-Domecq.

Photo Credit: whiskyintelligence.com

Photo Credit: whiskyintelligence.com

The distillery aged only in ex bourbon casks, a curiosity since it was owned by a Spanish company which could have probably handled getting quality sherry casks. I have tasted one Lochside before and I don’t remember it being with this very oily and vegetal flavor profile, but is, nevertheless, and interesting dram.

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

Lochside 1981 Berry’s Own Selection,  30 Year Old, Cask 777 (46% ABV)

Appearance: Gold, slow forming thick legs with a ring and quite a bit of droplets on glass. This would suggest being non chill filtered, but I couldn’t find that stated anywhere.

Nose: Initially musty and oily, with notes of diesel oil, hay honey, faint spices, green leaves, cardamom and mandarin citrus.

Palate: Honey and allspice over a musty and bitter base with salty notes.

Linger: Bitter on the tongue, light pepper, notes of honey and some drynesss in the mouth, with residual soft sweetness.


I’m surprised I disliked this dram so intensely. It’s bitter, it has citrus – but that oily mustiness threw me back to the Irish Green Spot whiskey. My friend Rasmus, who shared this dram with me, loved it on the other hand, with his first word to me after I tasted it being “TANGERINES!!!” 🙂

It’s really a case of individual taste, but if you get a chance to taste it, do…These Lochsides won’t be around for too much longer.

Thanks Rasmus for sharing this dram with me!


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