Royal Lochnagar Distiller’s edition 1998

Royal Lochnagar (The Royal name was bestowed upon the distillery following a visit by Queen Victoria on the 12th September 1848. Apparently at the end  the first ever distillery tour, Queen Victoria enjoyed a dram of Lochnagar highland single malt. The distillery also is situated next to the Balmoral estate owned by the Queen) .

Re-whisky the  distillery does not produce a lot of OB whisky (Not that there are many IBs as well), and the expressions it does release are far from exciting or spectacular.There’s the 12 year old which is an average whisky, but does not tickle my fancy that much, and a triple matured expression i reviewed a long time ago (review here) , and a ‘Selected Reserve’ NAS, and of course the distiller’s edition which is a take on the 12 , with a wine finish (you know the Trick), which I am going to review today.

As noted, this is not a sherry cask finish, but a Muscat wine finish: Muscat being a sweet dessert wine, which I hoped will add a nice touch to the otherwise quite Meh 12 year old.  I don’t really remember why I picked a 1 liter bottle of this at some duty-free, but probably it was on sale or something, and that was quite a few year’s back. This is the 1998 vintage, there’s a 2000 vintage out now too, which I have not tasted yet.

Royal Lochnagar distillers edition, 1998, 40% abv , ~£50 

Nose :  fruity and sweet with genies, apricot and a hint of strawberry, honey and cereal. More grape per reminiscent of good grappa, with the oak balancing it nicely. Unripe banana. 
Palate : sweet and fruity with some spice,  pepper and more fruit salad, wood and old school candy, candied orange peel as well as touches of allspice, and grape peel.
Finish: medium with the sweet wine, some dried fruit (mainly apricot and hints of peach), wood spices and toasted oak.
Conclusion: For me this one of the more successful wine finishes, as it really boosted the otherwise quite boring 12 year old Lochnagar. The sweet Muscat adds a nice fruit edge, as well as sweetness, and all this without being too powerful, and without many wine tannins. The wine finish does not make this whisky exceptional, but it’s quite nice and easy drinking stuff, a nice daily dram for sure.

Score: 84/100

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