Here is another Whisky Exchange exclusive. Unlike with last week’s Glenburgie 21, there is no confusion about who the bottler of this release is. This was an official release but bottled exclusively for the Whisky Exchange as part of the commemoration of their 20th anniversary—for which a remarkably large number of bottles were released, most now sold out. Inchmurrin, as you may know, is one of the various brands produced at the Loch Lomond distillery—a distillery that seems to be in the process of a somewhat unlikely turnaround of their profile. This turnaround—if I am in fact accurate in describing it as such—has a lot to do with the raised profile in recent years of Croftengea, their heavily peated brand. The fruity quality of Croftengea—seen in spades in this earlier Whisky Exchange exclusive that I loved, also a 9 yo—is said to be even more of a hallmark of Inchmurrin. I say “said to be” because I’m not sure that I’ve actually had any Inchmurrin before. Well, if this one lives up to expectations I will make it a point to hunt some of those regular official releases out—they’re available in Minnesota. Let’s see how it goes. (One small mystery though: the label says this was one of 121 bottles. That’s a very small number—where did the rest of this cask go?)
Inchmurrin 9, 2010 (55.3%; for TWE’s 20th anniversary; cask 2493; from my own bottle)
Nose: Rich fruit (apricot, fried plantain, a touch of pineapple) along with soft malt and pastry crust and just a bit of oaky bite. Rather lovely. Not much change with time but that’s not a complaint. The fruit gets muskier with a few drops of water but there’s also a rye/pine note to go with it.
Palate: More or less as predicted by the nose but it’s sweeter and the oak is a bit more assertive. Nice texture at full strength and very approachable on the whole. Fruitier here too with water and the oak is less assertive. As it sits further, however, those pine/rye notes from the nose show up here too.
Finish: Long. The oak expands further here. On the plus side the fruit gets muskier too as it goes and there’s some roasted malt as well. As on the palate with water.
Comments: This is lovely stuff, if not quite at the level of 2018’s Croftengea. There’s just a touch too much oak on the palate and finish and that keeps it from the next tier for me. I will say that these notes have expanded a bit as the bottle has stayed open. My first few pours from the bottle would probably have garnered 90 points if I’d taken my notes then. I’ll be curious to see if/how it changes again as the bottle empties further. Okay, once the pandemic is done I will indeed go out in search of the regular OB Inchmurrin.
Rating: 89 points.