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 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.