Inchmurrin whisky is one of the many malts to have its origins at Loch Lomond Distillery. Sitting on the shores of one of Scotland’s most famous lochs, it is probably the country’s most versatile distillery in terms of the number of different whiskies produced on the site. It is the only distillery in Scotland to produce both grain and single malt on the same site, producing a huge 10 million litres of the former and 2.5 million litres of the latter each year.
One of the distillery’s eight single malt brands, Inchmurrin is rarely bottled, with most being used for the company’s blends. Last week though, I was fortune enough to take part in a Tweet Tasting of the entire range, which started with a snifter of new make spirit.
New Make Spirit – 85.9% ABV
Yes, that’s right – 85.8% ABV! Probably the strongest alcohol I’ve ever tasted. As you can imagine, it smells of ALCOHOL!! Once you get past this though, it’s very sweet and creamy – a bit like an ice cream sundae. The creaminess extends to the palate but then it explodes as the 85.9% hits the back of the throat with a chili heat. Adding water rounds things off but the sweet flavours seemed to disappear.
Inchmurrin 12 Year Old – 46% ABV
The youngest Inchoan is aged in three types of cask – bourbon, refill and re-charred – before the whiskies are then vatted together. This gives a fresh yet dry nose, with an oaky sweetness – almost like a decent Chardonnay. This is replicated on the palate, with some exotic fruit including pineapple, orange and peach thrown in, along with some vanilla ice cream too.
Inchmurrin Madeira – 46% ABV
Individual casks from the process which creates the 12 year old are married together prior to a further maturation in casks which have previously been used for making Madeira wine. This process enhances the soft fruits and adds warming spices. The strong presence of vanilla ice cream is still there too. The palate is much sweeter than the 12 year old but it’s not clawing. In fact, it’s quite floral – violets and rose – with strawberries in there too.
Inchmurrin 18 Year Old – 46% ABV
The final whisky and it appears that Christmas has come early. The nose is very woody and warming, with Christmas spices including nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Lots of dried fruit too and, bizarrely, there’s a bit of old leather book in there too. The festive flavours burst onto the palate, brining all the flavours from the nose onto the tongue, as well as adding in some citrus too. The finish is also fresher than you’d expect.
There we have it – a nice introduction to a little known range. All solid whiskies but I’d say that the 18 Year Old was the stand out for me.