At some point recently the Loch Lomond distillery revamped their slate of official releases. At the entry-level now are three 12 yo malts, all very fairly priced: an Inchmurrin, an Inchmoan (basically peated Inchmurrin) and a Loch Lomond. The Inchmurrin is billed as “Fruity & Sweet”, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has had malts from this label or any malts really produced in the last decade or so at Loch Lomond: they all tend to be fairly fruity, Inchmurrin in particular. Also at some point recently—more regrettably—the Loch Lomond distillery decided to engage in some pretty dishonest marketing about their history. I’ve gone over this in a separate post last month: essentially, despite only having been founded in 1965 or 1966 they are now claiming a history going back to the early 1800s. This is really regrettable as the whisky they’re making can stand on its own merits. I will admit that it’s been a bit of a quandary for me whether to review these whiskies from the distillery or not, given their dishonest marketing. I decided finally to go ahead but to foreground that dishonest marketing each time. I do hope they’ll knock it off soon.
Inchmurrin 12 “Fruity & Sweet” (46%; from my own bottle)
Nose: That very Loch Lomond mix of gingery malt and fruit—starts out with melon and then there’s a whole bowl of assorted fruit (peaches, pineapple, passionfruit). A mineral, slightly chalky vein runs through it all. More acidic with each sniff (lime juice) and growing salt as well. A few drops of water knock the salt back and tie the fruit and malt together nicely.
Palate: Comes in acidic but the tropical fruit expands as I swallow. A nice bite at 46% but the texture feels a bit thin. The oak pops out earlier with each sip and the fruit gets a little bubble gummy; a slight metallic note too along with the acid. The metallic note expands a bit too much as it sits. Okay, let’s see if water restores the balance. Hmmm the metallic note is still here but there’s now roasted malt to go with it; the fruit seems to get knocked back here.
Finish: Medium-long. The the tropical notes continue into the finish (some tart mango now too), picking up some oak as they go. Longer but otherwise as on the palate with water.
Comments: Well, this exceeded my (admittedly not very specific) expectations. I won’t make any big claims for it but if you like fruity whisky (as I do) this is a big dose of fruit for not very much money. There’s not a whole lot of depth or development but it’s also very much an entry-level whisky. Very good value. Okay, on to the Inchmoan 12.
Rating: 85 points.