Showing posts with label Lochlea Distillery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lochlea Distillery. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2022

Lochlea Distillery Sowing Edition "First Crop" Single Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes


Last week, I spoke of (and reviewed) Lochlea Distillery’s inaugural whisky, First Release. I was impressed with how good it was, especially considering the risk Lochlea took with releasing its own distillate and not sourcing as many others do. First Release was a single malt using both first-fill Bourbon and PX-sherry casks.

 

The next project is called Sowing Edition. Sowing Edition is a springtime release, soon to be followed by Harvest Season (Summer), Fallow Edition (Fall), and Ploughing Edition (Winter). The goal is to feature the effects of different farming seasons to whisky drinkers.

 

“Sowing Edition is a perfect springtime whisky with green apple skins, pear drops and custard creams on the nose; vanilla sweetness, orchard fruits and hazelnuts on the palette with a final fruity sweetness lasting to the finish. Made from barley grown within sight of the distillery, Lochlea Whisky is an Ayrshire dram through and through.”John Campbell, Master Blender and Distillery Manager, Lochlea Distillery

 

Sowing Edition is a single malt aged for an undisclosed period in first-fill Maker’s Mark Bourbon barrels. While there is no age statement, Scottish regulations indicate a whisky must be aged at least three years to qualify as Scotch, and the distillery made its first distillate in 2018. As such, we know it is between three and four years.

 

Bottled at 48% ABV (96°), Sowing Edition “First Crop” is non-chill filtered and naturally colored. The suggested retail price is $69.99 for a 700ml package.

 

I must take a moment and thank Impex Beverages, the exclusive USA importer for Lochlea, for a sample of Sowing Season in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Now it is time to #DrinkCurious and learn more.

 

Appearance: Poured neat into my Glencairn glass, Sowing Edition was the color of straw. A medium rim formed sticky droplets that clung to the wall.

 

Nose: The green apple that John Campbell mentioned is unmistakable. It raced to my nostrils. A dash of cinnamon paired nicely, followed by vanilla and toasted oak. Only the apple came through when I drew the air through my lips.

 

Palate:  A thin, oily mouthfeel offered even more green apple with pear and nutmeg on the front. The middle consisted of oatmeal, hazelnut, and mocha, and I tasted vanilla, toasted oak, and cinnamon spice on the back.

 

Finish: Long-lasting and slightly tannic, the finish offered cinnamon, clove, toasted oak, a touch of oatmeal, and a blast of vanilla.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Lowland Scotches aren’t known for bold flavors. And, yet, Lochlea defies that. Both Sowing Edtion and First Release featured those. Not only do I respect Lochlea for releasing its own distillate, but I was also pleased by what I was sipping. Lochlea has something special going on, and I’m happy to tip my hat and crown Sowing Edition with my Bottle rating. Cheers!

 

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 do so responsibly.

 


 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Lochlea Distillery "First Release" Single Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes



One of the newest distilleries in Scotland is located in Ayrshire. It was a former piggery, cattle barn, and a middery. I bet you’re wondering what a middery is. I had to look up the word. In nice terms, it is an agricultural refuse heap.

 

Mr. Robert Burns lived on this land for a decade, giving this distillery the unique ability to make that claim. Burns was tilling barley just as has been done for generations before and since. The land was purchased, repurposed, and a distillery was operational in 2018. They called it Lochlea Distillery.

 

“Initially led by the experience and expertise of distillery manager Malcolm Rennie, and now under the management of ex-Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell. Having built up one of the top ten Scotch brands in the world over the past 27 years, John brings a wealth of knowledge and a burning ambition to help Lochlea fulfil its potential.”Lochlea Distilling Co.

 

This Lowland distillery grows its own barley; now, those first bottles of Scotch whisky have hit the market. The inaugural bottling is called, aptly enough, First Release. It is a single malt Scotch that’s non-chill filtered, naturally colored, and aged in first-fill Maker's Mark Bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks for an undisclosed period (but math and Scottish law tell us it is between three and four years), and bottled at 46% ABV (92°). The suggested retail price is $69.99 for a 700ml package.

 

As this is the first liquid from this distillery, I have no idea what to expect. But, I typically love PX-cask Scotches. Let’s see (or taste) what they’ve done and #DrinkCurious. But, before I do, I want to thank Impex Beverages, the exclusive USA importer for Lochlea, for a sample of First Release in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. 

 

Appearance:  Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, First Release presented as liquid gold. A bold rim glued itself to the wall, finally releasing long, wavy legs back to the pool.

 

Nose: Aromas of malt, brown sugar, apple, pear, citrus, nutmeg, and vanilla teased my nostrils. As I drew the air past my lips, my mouth experienced an explosion of thick, rich chocolate.

 

Palate: The texture was buttery, yet this whisky was not shy about announcing its proof. The tip of my tongue tingled. On a second sip, I tasted baked apple, cinnamon, and raisin on the front. Hazelnut, brown sugar, and orange peel formed the middle, while the back offered cocoa, oak, and clove flavors.

 

Finish: As things began to sew up, there was a dry cereal quality, almost like an oatmeal cookie. Wait, make that oatmeal raisin cookies. Then, dust cinnamon sugar across that oatmeal raisin cookie. Behind that baked goodness were clove, oak, and hazelnut, which stuck around for a medium-to-long finish.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Putting out an initial release of something non-sourced is risky. I’ve had several that did not turn out well. They tend to taste young. They’re typically overly-diluted to hide that young taste (and stretch profits). First Release is nothing like those whiskies. There was plenty of character, with both the Bourbon and sherry wood influences easily discernable. I loved the fruity spiciness (or was it spicy fruitiness?), and it is a well-crafted Scotch worth acquiring. Lochlea snags its first Bottle rating with First Release. Cheers!

 

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 do so responsibly.