Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry Oloroso first fill
Added colouring: No
Owner: Lochlea Distilling Co.
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: www.lochleadistillery.com
In an area such as the Lowlands, whose geographical conformation and microclimate lends itself well to the cultivation of barley and wheat (in fact, there are numerous grain distilleries), until thirty years ago there were only two single malts in constant production: that of Auchentoshan, in Glasgow, and that of Glenkinchie, in Edinburgh. Today, the situation is quite different: since 2000, Bladnoch has been distilling again, Daftmill, with its proudly craft dimension, has already gained some credit, while in 2023 Rosebank, closed in 1993 and dismantled in 2008, is scheduled to reopen. In this climate of general ferment, there is Lochlea, in Ayrshire, only active since 2015.
A review of Lochlea’s first release has already appeared on the blog, to which we also refer you for some further information on the distillery. This Fallow Edition is a single malt of undeclared age, matured entirely in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks and bottled at 46% ABV, without chillfiltration and in its natural colour, in 9,000 bottles (this is therefore a limited edition: the third so far for Lochlea). The purple on the bottle refers to autumn, when the fields are left fallow after the annual harvest.
The colour is dark amber.
On the nose, the contribution of the ex-Sherry casks translates mainly into an even over-pronounced vinous note (which, in terms of intensity, doesn’t retreat one step over time), along with figs, sultanas, nuts (walnuts and almonds) and milk chocolate. A floral vagueness in the background accompanies impressions of salted caramel and roasted chestnuts, with a touch of nutmeg. A fleeting memory of zabaglione appears in the distance.
On the palate, the entry is lively peppery (white pepper) and lends a certain dynamism to a profile of orange zest, caramel (unsalted), sultanas and hazelnut cream. Peach in syrup and a very ripe yellow apple complete a decidedly more harmonious and convincing picture, even if the finish, unfortunately, is not very long, with faint hints of milk chocolate and caramel, and a hint of citrus.
The sherried dimension, so exuberant on the nose, fortunately finds greater balance on the palate, and the whole, though largely perfectible, is certainly a fine promise of things to come.