Whisky Show 2023: Glenrothes, Loch Lomond, Kilchoman

Whisky Show 2023: Glenrothes, Loch Lomond, Kilchoman

The Whisky Show 2023 is well behind us, of course, but some of the festival bottlings are still available.

Today we’re looking at a few official bottlings from Loch Lomond and Kilchoman, as well as one indy release from Thompson Brothers. In another session we will also look at TWE’s own festival bottlings.


Glenrothes 25 yo 1997 (47,5%, Thompson Bros for Whisky Show 2023, refill hogshead, 231 btl.)

Nose: a lovely waxy nose. Plenty of paraffin and old waxed papers, with lemon balm, vanilla and sweet mint. Hints of marshmallow, honeydew melon and stewed banana, alongside buttery cake, Del Monte frut cocktail and sweet lemonade. Pretty impressive.

Mouth: more sweet waxiness and creamy fruits. Bananas, almond cream, dried pineapple slices. Hints of shortcream and lemon curd, as well as limoncello, tarte tatin and light leathery notes. Echoes of Clynelish even. Some flinty notes and a faint hint of chalk too.

Finish: quite long and fat, cakey and waxy, with sweet citrus and a resinous note.

An excellent Glenrothes that hints towards these (much older) undisclosed Edrington malts from the 1970s. The waxiness and ripe fruits are impressive. Highly drinkable too, so warmly recommended. Still available from The Whisky Exchange.



Loch Lomond 14 yo 2009 (55,6%, OB for Whisky Show 2023, Limousin hogshead finish, cask #22/709-1, 232 btl.)

Loch Lomond 14 Years 2009 - Whisky Show 2023 Nose: organic notes with butter and some yeasty porridge. After 30 minutes of airing, it settles down. Then nicer syrupy notes and sultanas appear, alongside oranges and peaches. Never entirely fresh though, there’s always wet wood, paraffin and some mossy notes in the background. Late pineapple.

Mouth: oranges, apples and peaches are back, and so are the porridgy notes and light savoury hints. Soaked oats. Marmalade, charred pineapple too. Then mild spice, some oily notes and a hint of milky coffee. A little vanilla and wet wood again.

Finish: medium length, showing creamy sweetness and toasted oak but also a light mustiness.

This wild and quirky side is not uncommon in Loch Lomond, in my opinion. So yes, this is interesting but don’t expect an easy charmer. Still available from The Whisky Exchange. Score: 83/100



Kilchoman 11 yo 2011 (54,5%, OB for Whisky Show 2023, bourbon cask #771)

Kilchoman 2011 single cask - Whisky Show 2023 Nose: big coastal notes and plenty of earthy smoke. Lapsang tea, as well as some hay, seawater and smoked roots. New plastics and hints of black peppercorns. Then sweet pears in the background, faint iodine and freshmint. Pretty exemplary.

Mouth: very intense, with deep sooty notes and mineral sharpness. Then black pepper again, charred oak and a faint herbal bitterness. Wood ashes, aniseed and wee petrol notes. Vanilla roundness and some zesty citrus takes away some of the rough edges.

Finish: very long and earthy, on dark smoke, peppery ashes and a hint of dark chocolate.

Quite robust, with sooty peat and medicinal notes that bring it close to Laphroaig at some points. A tad rough but it certainly delivers the expected Islay kick. Still available from The Whisky Exchange. Score: 87/100