My second week of Loch Lomond reviews in 2021 started on Monday with an official release—a recent—though not the current—release of Loch Lomond 18. This followed a week of reviews in April that were all of current official releases: the new Loch Lomond 12, the Inchmurrin 12 and the Inchmoan 12. We move now to a couple of independent releases. First up, an Inchfad 15 bottled by Cooper’s Choice earlier this year. Inchfad, like Inchmoan and Croftengea, is one of Loch Lomond’s peated brands. For all I know, there are others. I am not really sure what the production differences between these peated brands are and will leave it to someone more informed to explain it to us in the comments if they’re willing. I will say that peated Loch Lomond can be a truly wonderful thing. This on account of the underlying spirit which is rather fruity. Peat, fruit and bourbon casks: this is in theory a good combination. Let’s see if it paid off here.
Inchfad 15, 2005 (51.5%; Cooper’s Choice; bourbon cask 435; from my own bottle)
Nose: A balanced mix of farmy peat and sweet, musky fruit, along with just a hint of rotting garbage and aniseed (Jamaican rum-style). Maltier on the second sniff and there’s a fair bit of citrus too now—still sweet but with some oranges in the mix. With time and air the farmy notes recede and it’s now a mix of citrus and mildly phenolic smoke. A few drops of water intensify the smoke, bringing out more char, and there’s more salt too now; the fruit is still here too.
Palate: Comes in as predicted by the nose but as I swallow there’s a burst of smoke and ash and acid. Very approachable at full strength and nice texture. The fruit expands on the second sniff and there’s some vanilla too now. Similar development as on the nose with time and air. Okay, let’s add a drop of water. Water intensifies the dry smoke here as well; the fruit gets pushed back a bit.
Finish: Long. It’s the ashy smoke that lingers. Sweeter here too with time. As on the palate with water and the salt from the nose emerges now.
Comments: Not very complex but very pleasurable. I could drink this style of whisky every day and be happy. Well, I’d probably get sick of it if I drank it every day but you get the idea.
Rating: 87 points.