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Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond (pronounced: lok LOH-mond) has always been a source of curiosity and morbid fascination to many whisky fanatics. It was founded with the idea of mass production and experimentation in mind and this is exactly the principal it has stuck to through the years. It produces a variety of spirits by way of variances to the distillation techniques and the peating levels among many other factors. The vast majority of its stock is inevitably intended for blending, the reason behind such a variety of spirits being to provide the blenders with plenty ingredients. However these days there is an inevitably slow but steady supply of these malts onto the market, much to the befuddlement of malt aficionados.

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Loch Lomond Distillery

Founded: 1966
Stills: 2 Pot Stills. 4 Lomond Stills. 1 column Still.
Capacity: 12 Million Litres
Water Source: Loch Lomond
Owners: Loch Lomond DCL

1966-Present: A Big Outsider

The overall style of Loch Lomond has never really had a chance to develop, it was conceived as a modern distillery and has remained so ever since, churning out vast quantities of a soft and typically approachable spirit that has remained largely unchanged since its birth in 1966. The overall house style is one of cereals, grains, white flowers, some soft green apple qualities and quite some autolytic ‘bready' character as well. In many ways it has more in common with the traditional Lowland style than the Highland one that is stated on most labels. It is not a style to everyone's taste but there are exceptions. This style is typical of its unpeated/lightly peated malts which include Old Rhosdhu, Inchmoan and Inchmurrin. The peated ones, the most common of these being Croftengea, Craiglodge and Inchfad, are much denser, oilier and farmy. They often display distinctively organic qualities such as vegetation, soil, compost and green peats. Some casks are fantastic while some of the younger ones were quite ‘difficult' to put it kindly.

The general rule to follow with Loch Lomond is that to find the good stuff you to look deeper and well beyond the standard bottlings such as Loch Lomond or Old Rhosdhu 5yo. There have been fantastic casks bottled by Cadenheads, The Whisky Fair and various other small independent bottlers. It is one of those distilleries that, if you dig around enough, can be full of delightful surprises. It is also worthwhile remembering that, in these days of depressing homogenisation, their attitude of wilful experimentation betrays a sense of fun and adventure that few distilleries share.

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