Loch Lomond Glengarry 12-Year Highland Single Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes

Occasionally, you run across a distillery with a clouded history. In some cases, record-keeping was minimal; distilleries ran into disrepair, and there were fires. One Scottish Highland distillery,  Loch Lomond Distillery, has a past with many unknown factors.


Here’s what we know: The distillery was first established in 1814 near Tarbet, at the north end of Loch Lomond. Beyond that is anyone’s guess. The original distillery was dismantled. It might have suffered a fire or could have been abandoned. No one knows for sure.


However, in 1965, the former owners of Littlemill Distillery founded the new Loch Lomond Distillery, located in the village of Bowling. It stayed operational for two decades until it was shuttered in 1984. In 1987, Alexander Bulloch and the Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse, Ltd. purchased it and resumed distilling malt whisky.


Then, in 1993, it added grain whisky to its portfolio. That made Loch Lomond the only Scottish distillery producing malt and grain whiskies at the time. It also has a fully-operational cooperage; something that’s unusual these days.


That brings us to Glengarry, a brand that Loch Lomond Group owns. When I first mentioned Glengarry on social media several weeks ago, someone responded they were surprised Loch Lomond could get away with that, as there is another brand called Glen Garry, and that’s true. Glen Garry was established about 150 years ago and produced by John Hopkins & Co., then acquired by Distillers Company Ltd., which became Diageo after a series of twists and turns. Beyond that, I could not find information on Glen Garry, and it may be defunct. On the other hand, Glengarry was launched in the United States back in 2015.


Today, I’m exploring Glengarry 12-Year Highland Single Malt Scotch. It is distilled from 100% malted barley and aged for at least a dozen years in a combination of former Bourbon, refill, and re-charred casks. It weighs 46% ABV (92°) and is affordable at about $60.00 for a 750ml package. I purchased my bottle from a liquor store in Antioch, Illinois, for just under $30.00.


I’ve had other whiskies from Loch Lomond and loved them. But did I buy smart this time? Let’s #DrinkCurious and find out.


Appearance: I sipped this single malt Scotch neat from a Glencairn glass. There’s no indicator if it is naturally colored. However, it possessed a brilliant copper hue. The thinnish rim formed perfectly straight, thin tears that slowly descended back to the pool.


Nose: Smells of caramel, peaches, and pineapples filled the room before I purposefully began my sniffing journey. Once that happened, I could discern oranges, grapefruits, and lightly toasted oak. Inhaling the vapor through my mouth revealed more pineapples.  


Palate: I encountered a thin but creamy texture on my first sip. Subsequent attempts reduced the creaminess as it became oily. I found pears, apples, and peaches on the front of my palate. As it moved to my mid-palate, that switched to pineapples, vanilla cream, and honey. The back tasted of milk chocolate, barrel char, and white pepper.  


Finish: Medium-to-long in duration, the finish included flavors of charred oak, white pepper, pineapples, and peaches. At the very end, there was a gentle kiss of smoke.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Glengarry 12-Year is a well-balanced, easy-sipping single malt Scotch. I love the kiss of smoke at the very end (and that seems typical in my experience with Loch Lomond). It has plenty of character and charisma; there is much to relish here. It isn’t a life-changing whisky, but it is worthy of my whisky library, and with the price I paid, I’m delighted with my purchase. It holds up well against other 12-year single malts at its regular price. Glengarry 12-Year deserves my Bottle rating.


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.