Friday, September 21, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #160

Lochside 1964, 42yo
Blended Scotch Whisky
47.7% abv


Still creeping toward that MM200. It'll happen... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... Thanks for reading.

Highly unusual and incredibly affordable for the age, this 42 year old whisky is what might be called a single blend as it is a mix of grain and malt whiskies from just one distillery. Single cask, no less. And it is a closed distillery(1992). A true rarity.

The Lochside distillery began producing whisky in 1957 but the site had been the James Deuchars and Sons brewery in Montrose, in the east of Scotland. Until the 1970s, Lochside distillery was producing both single malt and grain whisky on site, like Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond. It was bought by Spanish interests in 1973 and mothballed in 1992. Allied Domecq acquired the distillery in 1994 and in 1997 all the equipment and maturing whisky was removed(or sold).

The warehouses have been destroyed, and from what I can gather, all remaining distillery buildings will see a similar fate as developers have acquired permission to build 37 flats on the premises. The landmark 'distillery tower' seen at the northern entrance into Montrose (see pic) has been demolished (2005). This lost distillery is, for now, somewhat of a hidden gem, with several expressions finding their way into well-received independent releases (Clan Denny, Cadenheads, Douglas Laing, Gordon & Macphail, etc.)

This unsual bottle was blended at birth, spending all of its 42 years maturing as a blend in a single cask. Unusual indeed, but a format founder Joseph W. Hobbs was quite fond of. Let's see if he was onto something...


Confidently announces its presence with a multidimensional impact: oak, spices, sweetness. A light and elegant bourbony vanilla sweetness with orange peels, cloves, nutmeg, and cheap vanilla ice cream (the kind whose first ingredient is guar gum and/or modified milk ingredients). Some grass or other vegetal aromas, hand creams, hazelnut puree, brio/chinotto.

Sweet/bitter balance, with age becoming VERY apparent. Rum-like tropical flavours that hint at bike tires, with chilli, green peppers, more orange rind or marmalade with bundles of oaky sweetness. Friendly finish where malt and chewable vitamin C tablets linger among a supple oakiness.


Impressive and tasty from beginning to end, and extremely unusual. Time in the glass really lets things become creamy both in texture and flavour. 42 yo for £70!? Buy one, buy one now! Don't tell too many friends about this gem. There isn't enough to go 'round, and besides, they probably don't deserve it, anyways.

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