May 182018
 

Loch Lomond distillery is a behemoth of fascination, with four different styles of stills churning out a staggering 13 types of single malt out of traditional pot stills and straight necked stills with rectifiers.

Croftenga is the name given Loch Lomond’s heavily peated malt, that was distilled in Inchmurrin’s straight necked stills, but made from malt peated to 40 ppm.

Photo Credit: Whisky.com

Inchmurrin is very fruity, so are we in for smoke and fruit?

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

The Whisky Exchange Loch Lomond Croftenga 2008, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 289 Bottles (54.8% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance:  Gold, droplets rolling slowly off a pretty sturdy necklace.

Nose: Smoked vanilla, meat on the grill, honey, floral notes, wet peat. There’s some green mango and lemon.

Palate: Thick and viscous, very full bodied. Smoky with some of the wet cardboard Loch Lomond has, and with notes of tropical fruit, mango and papaya and pepper and a hint of anise.

Linger: Honey and peat in a dry linger, with white pepper on the tongue. The linger is pretty long and very pleasant. The tropical fruit is present here too with mango and a hint of passionfruit.

Conclusion

If you like tropical fruit in your whisky, this is definitely one you’ll want. I’m thinking a non-Bowmore peated whisky with tropical fruit notes, and one that I actually found pretty enjoyable, despite not really being enamored with tropical fruit in general (and Bowmore in particular).

May 172016
 

When you think of Highland Park, you immediately think of the gentle peat and sherry combination so characteristic of the most northern of major whisky distilleries in Scotland. Indeed, whereas over 90% of Scotch whisky is bottled in ex bourbon casks, Highland Park has sherry maturation as one of its five keystones. Additionally, Highland Park uses only traditionally “Scottish” sized casks: butts, puncheons or hogsheads. No barrels are used by the distillery, which makes this G&M TWE exclusive release of a 16 year old Highland Park in a first fill barrel special indeed.

Photo Credit: highlandpark.co.uk

Photo Credit: highlandpark.co.uk

Despite that, Highland Park has bottled expressions matured in bourbon casks, including the beautiful Freya and the new Ice, but those are rarities.

This cask adds quite a bit of spice to the whisky, and working with water should be done slowly, but this is a very enjoyable dram, showcasing some of the lesser highlighted qualities of the Highland Park spirit.

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

Gordon and MacPhail Highland Park 1999, 16 Year Old, TWE Exclusive, Cask 4260, Distilled 30/08/1999, Bottled 13/01/2016 (56.6% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Gold, very viscous, it coats the edges of the glass.

Nose: Fresh fruit and gentle spices with honey and floral honeysuckle. A seriously malty vanilla, with some very shy peat. Water allows some more fruit and a little more peat to come out

Palate: Honey and peat, with a lot of malt and a spicy freshness. Water takes the spice out for a dance, and highlights it, together with some more of the peat.

Linger: Peat, light pepper and honey, with a very creamy linger left behind. With water, you get some lemon drops on the back of the tongue.

Conclusion

This is a seriously solid dram, which on the one hand needs water, but you pay a clear price in turning into a true spice behemoth in the process. It highlights nicely what HP is like without the sherry.

Official sample provided by The Whisky Exchange.