Lombard Jewels of Scotland Lochside 23 Year (1981)

Scotch Whisky Review #383: Lombard Jewels of Scotland Lochside 23 Year (1981)

Distillery: Lochside.

Bottler: Lombard.

Region: Highland.

Age: 23 Year. Distilled in 1981 and bottled in 2004.

ABV: 50.0%.

Price: $25 for a 1 oz sample.

Color: 0.6, Old Gold.

Nose: This is quite fruity. Tropical fruits are the main driver here. Passionfruit, starfruit, rambutan, lychee, and a bit of under-ripe mango all come through for me. There is something tart as well which reminds me a little bit of a tart apple. Something that smells and awful lot like like Dole whip starts to show after letting it sit for a while. Vanilla cream sandwich cookies wrap things up along with a little bit of something aromatic, not quite lemongrass but something similar.

Palate: Oh my fruitiness. It’s a fruit bomb right out of the gates. Notes of Dole whip, apples, and pineapple are quite strong here. At full strength, there’s a heavy maltiness towards the back that’s not quite nice. It feels almost like a stormy cloud covering the tongue. With a bit of water, the heavy “cloud” gets lifted. More of the pineapple comes out along with more aromatics such as lemongrass and cardamom. Grapefruit oils also come through nicely. Its even calmer with a few more drops of water with more fruits. Loads of pineapple and apple notes.

Finish: At first it is quite long. Is this peated? There’s a funk here that’s reminiscent of Springbank. With a bit of water, the finish shortens up quite a bit and the funky notes all vanish as well. Grapefruit oils is the main note that remains after water.

Conclusion: Lochside is one of the many distilleries mothballed in the early 1990s as part of the big downturn of the Scotch whisky market. Unfortunately, it isn’t one of the ones that were given a new lease on life in the years to follow. I knew very little else about Lochside going into this so I was quite happy to be surprised with the absolute fruit bomb. The nose is massively tropical with all sorts of fun fruity notes. The rest of the whisky does not quite deliver on that level of fruitness, but the palate is still chock full of fruits as well. The weird, almost stormy notes that come through before adding water was strange. A few drops cleared that up and left behind a lot of aromatic notes that are really pleasant. I don’t know if this is representative of Lochside at all, but I’m quite happy with this as it is.

Final Score: 91.

Scotch Whisky Review #383, Highland Review #76, Whisky Network Review #537

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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