Taste: Lochside 1965 Connoisseurs Choice

I've written about fashion in whisky and distilleries being overlooked that produce a superior product. The same applies to the list of closed distilleries with your Brora's and Port Ellen's hogging all the headlines. Lochside is overlooked partially because it was rarely seen as a single malt, instead going into blends such as Sandy Macnab. The only official release of Lochside didn't arrive until towards the end of its lifespan as a young 10 year old.

This miniature was distilled in 1965 and bottled as part of Gordon & MacPhail's Connoisseurs Choice range. Such samples offer a viable opportunity to experience whiskies that may prove impossible to obtain as a full bottle; whether its financially or rare. I see a lot miniatures up for sale and there is a popular collecting community for these wee bottles. Reduced fill levels are commonplace and I believe there comes a time when you have to open up and enjoy.

Distillery: Lochside
Distilled: 1965
Bottled: I haven't been able to confirm this
Strength: 40%
Cask: sherry
Price: this 5cl miniature would set you back anything from £20-£30 
Colour: amber

Nose: well this chap had reduced a little with a lower level, thanks to the type of seal so you never know until you crack it open. However it remains fresh and powerful with a hit of squashed oranges and raisins soaked in rum. More sweetness with fudge and raspberries followed by worn leather, a little mustard seed and beeswax.

Taste: I was disappointed to see this was bottled at 40% but this is something Gordon & MacPhail tended to do. Despite this, what remains offers an explosion of flavours. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, black pepper, more raisins including your typical sherry cask notes, marmalade and butterscotch. Beneath all of this is a creaminess and oddly a touch of bitterness.

The easy thing would be to call this a Christmas cake extravaganza yet I'm inclined to picture freshly cooked waffles covered in cream, syrup and fruit. The end result is extremely satisfying.

This is a sign of a great cask in harmony with the spirit. I'd have no hesitation in snapping up a full sized bottle of this Lochside, price permitting of course.    

Whisky Rover

Instagram