Let’s close out Loch Lomond week with the new Loch Lomond 12. Well, I’m not actually sure if there is anything new about this version of the 12 yo beyond the packaging and the “Perfectly Balanced” epithet it now bears. The Inchmurrin 12 and Inchmoan 12, you may recall, go by “Fruity & Sweet” and “Smoke & Spice” respectively. As to whether this Loch Lomond 12 is meant to be the perfect balance between those two or represent some more Platonic perfect balance of malt whisky character, I don’t know. I do know that I liked the last Loch Lomond 12 I tried and if this is at least as good I will be happy. I’ll be happier still if the distillery knocks off its dubious marketing claims re its origins—which decidedly do not go back to 1814 no matter what their packaging may claim. Why they insist on selling this bogus claim when they make interesting and rather unique whisky that can stand on its own merits I really can’t say. Anyway, let’s see what this is like.
Loch Lomond 12 “Perfectly Balanced” (46%; from my own bottle)
Nose: More restrained than the Inchmurrin on the fruit front but still fruity with a fair bit of malt and some cereals as well. Picks up a bit of intensity as it sits but also a metallic, almost grainy note. Water pulls out some cream but knocks most everything else back.
Palate: Comes in with more fruit here and it’s got more tropical accents than on the nose with passionfruit and lime in the lead. Decent texture and a good bite at 46%. The fruit expands with each sip as does the oak (though it’s not obtrusive or tannic). That metallic note from the nose pops up here as well with time and it gets a touch too bitter. Let’s see if water fixes things. Yes, it pushes the bitter notes back and makes the whole brighter—more lime now than passionfruit on the fruit front and more malt.
Finish: Medium-long. The fruit picks up some more oak and then finally some smoky accents. Gets sweeter as it goes and then the bitter note begins to linger well into the finish. As on the palate with water.
Comments: I don’t know about “perfectly balanced” but this is a whisky that has a very good balance of fruit and oak with just a hint of peat. That said, I slightly prefer both the Inchmurrin and Inchmoan 12s, both of which may or may not be components of this one.
Rating: 84 points.