Single malt whisky - tasting notes

08 Feb 2011

Lochside 1981 (Whisky Agency)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Lochside

Fino casks are uncommon for whisky maturation. This unoxidized style of sherry is usually bone-dry and not really suited for shipping so most of the production (and casks) stayed in Spain.

Occasionally, a fino matured whisky turns up, like this Lochside 1981 which is one of a whole series of Lochsides bottled by The Whisky Agency in Germany. We’ll compare it to a similar Lochside by Whisky-Doris tomorrow.


Lochside 1981 Whisky Agency (fino)Lochside 29 yo 1981 (52,7%, Whisky Agency ‘Still Lifes’ 2010, fino hogshead, 275 btl.)

Nose: very peculiar mix of oil and gas, sourish butter, yeast, some hay and clay. Wet gravel and stone dust. A few metallic notes and graphite. It tends towards fruity notes at times (subtle gooseberry, lemon) but overall it’s mostly mineral and far from sensual. Some (clean) match heads as well. Mouth: an austere profile again (lemon peel, ginger, salt water). Quite punchy with some pepper and allspice. Hints of tonic. A tad sweeter when water is added, but it never really becomes smooth, until… the finish: not too long but surprisingly rounded compared to the palate.

Very complex whisky with a unique old-style profile.
As a consequence, it’s also quite challenging –
not everyone will like this (but I do). Around € 150. Sold out.

Score: 87/100

Lochside 1981 (Whisky Agency) 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2011-02-08

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  • Tony: I wonder if the rest of the cask is the TWE 1981 just released with no cask number (and a similar though not identical strength)...
  • john marrinan: That is true, but to all intents and purposes a score of 87 is the same as a score of 90. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the maniacs scored it the
  • WhiskyNotes: It's not so much a matter of trusting a score as it is a matter of being able to relate to it.

Coming up

  • Langatun Old Bear 2009 peated
  • Miltonduff 2005 (DT #837112)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Liquid Art)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Whisky Mercenary)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Maltbarn)
  • Laphroaig An Cuan Mor
  • Fettercairn 1990 (Liquid Library)
  • Yamazaki 12 Year Old
  • Tomatin 1997 (Liquid Library)

1734 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.