Recently it was asked why, oh why, hadn’t I, TOModera, drank a Lochside.
And the answer is I’m busy and this liver needs to last at least another 40 years. Sweet Merciful mother of Bong hits people, I can’t do everything.
Not for a lack of trying, mind you.
So I tried one. And it’s nice to finally be trying another Lochside. But who is Lochside, really? Is there a piece of Lochside in us all?
Not really. It’s a place.
Lochside has quite the complicated past. They were rebuilt in 1957 from a brewery by Macnab Distilleries. They had both a Coffey still and a pot still. Then the Coffey still said bye bye in 1973. A year after Allied Distillers bought them. Then it closed down in 1992. Then they waited for permission to tear it down, and then it burned down in 2004.
I know what you’re saying: That doesn’t sound complicated. However what we have now is old, interesting, not usually written about, and only aged in ex-bourbon casks. Also we have both grain whisky and single malt whisky. Even though they used DYC, part of Pedro Domecq sherry, to distribute their whisky.
Thus I ended up with Lochside 49 1967 Cooper’s Choice
So we have a distillery that didn’t last long, that has tons and tons of whisky over 40 years old, that sometimes is grain and sometimes not, that never saw anything other than ex-bourbon casks. Also Murray McDavid called it the “Springbank of the East”. Which sounds amazing.
So why haven’t I tried it yet? Because they randomly come out and I don’t normally drink things over 40 years. I mean… I act baller, but I’m really just some guy who likes whisky.
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Age: 49 years
Cask Type: Bourbon cask
Cask Number 806
Number of Bottles 425
Colour: 2.5Y 6/8
Nose: Sunflowers, tahini, mineral, green wood, passionfruit, lime sorbet
Interesting nose. Lots of unique notes. Little light at first, however mineral leads to fruit. Thus I’m okay with this.
To expand on that: Mineral is nice when it has these interesting fruit notes. If it’s just mineral then you’re nosing mineral water and only the criminally insane want that. This has citrus, tropical, some funk, and some interesting green wood.
Taste: Nectarine cake, ginger, custard, butter, macadamia nut
Wow. For a lighter nose, the taste makes up for it. Initially lots and lots of tropical cake level complexity. However it doesn’t 100% keep that level throughout. There’s little simple, yet tasty notes that leak out, like a Farfetched in November 2017.
Like the custard side of it. Good mouthfeel, however some of the time has lowered the total complexity. Granted 49 years is huge.
Finish: Passionfruit, light roast coffee, floral spearmint, mineral, lime zest, having bubble tea for the first time
Long, amazing finish. If the nose was unique, and the taste had complexity with some issues, the finish is balance between the two and makes sure that you don’t regret keeping this in a cask for 49 years.
Lots of fruit, lots of acidity balanced with caramel or earthiness, amazing floral mint, and this great creaminess that honestly sets off this memory of having bubble tea for the first time. It’s just amazing, I keep going back for more. And it just lasts and lasts.
Conclusion: Unique, complex, and subtle. This aims to try and do everything for everyone and nearly does it. It fails short on the taste, if anywhere, and that’s due to some simplicity. Honestly it feels like they had to sacrifice some of that taste for the amazing finish. Sometimes that happens. So good.
Really I think this is a great whisky to own. If you’re looking for an old whisky, grab this. Hell, grab it if you’re looking for a 50 year old whisky for someone’s birthday. It’s good. It makes me want to try more. I hope I haven’t hit the pinnacle.
Scotch review #764, Highland review #124, Whisky Network review #1263