It’s certainly no secret that Loch Lomond is hard at work releasing very interesting whiskies in the last couple of years.. They have released some awesome Inchmurrins, Inchmoans, and some lovely single casks are popping here and there. Today we’re in for a treat, with something you do not see quite often from Loch Lomond : Croftengea. In case you’re wondering what that even means..
Croftengea is the most heavily peated of all Loch Lomond’s whiskies, and is normally used to add a twist of smoke to the distillery’s blends. Like most of the distillery’s single malts, it is made in Inchmurrin stills: copper pot stills whose swan necks have been replaced by rectifying columns. It first made an appearance in its own right in 2004, but bottlings of Croftengea single malt are still relatively rare. So, a heavily peated Loch Lomond , that should be lovely… Distilled in 2008, this whisky was matured in a single refill American oak hogshead until 2008, when it was bottled at 54.8%, this is indeed a rare chance to try Croftengea outside the distillery’s blends, and a first time for me. Happily the nice guys at TWE were kind enough to send a wee sample my way.
Loch Lomond Croftengea 2008 single cask #272 , TWE Exclusive , 54.8% , £69.95 TWE , 290 bottles
Nose: Quite earthy and peaty to boot, with a nice sweet touches to it as well : Milk chocolate, zesty lemon rind, tarry rope, caramelized apple chutney, sweet smoke, and some nice wood notes as well along with clove. with some water the peaty reek is even stronger, and some leather notes are revealed.
Palate: Oh, this is lovely stuff : lots of wood smoke, quite a sweet-ish kind of smoke, along with earthy peat smoke, more tar, pepper, licorice, smoky lemon drops. having added some water i am getting more chocolate , vanilla and mocha, and the earthy peat subsides.
Finish: Long with the sweet smoke, lemon rind, tar and a sweet / salty edge.
This is my first Ever Croftengea, and frankly I was pleasantly surprised. I did not know what to expect, and this one’s really well made. I like the earthy peat, wood smoke, with the sweet notes (not sherry,but still sweet). The fruit and chocolate, tar and spices, really work well. And had I been given this blind, I could be fooled to think it’s some sort of Islay (the wood smoke, make me think Lagavulin, but not quite..).
At any rate, really digging this one. It’s quite more-ish. Well chosen, guys.