Loch Lomond 18 Year Old (2024)

Loch Lomond 18 Year Old (2024)

The Whisky Exchange recently named Loch Lomond 18 Year Old its Whisky of the Year 2024. I tried this single malt once and it didn’t exactly impress me. The distillery made significant progress in recent years though. Not everything in the warehouse is brilliant, so the new owners should be commended for upping their game. We’re keen to find out how it performs today.

Loch Lomond 18 Years unites different styles of spirit produced at the distillery: the traditional swan neck pot stills but also the straight neck pot stills, both loaded with peated and unpeated malt. Add different types of casks and you get a hotchpotch of elements blended together.


Loch Lomond 18 yo (46%, OB 2024)

Nose: starts with hints of buttered toast and lots of grains in general (buckwheat springs to mind). Then it develops its trademark profile of ripe fruits with a minty freshness and a very light smoky touch (reminding me of Campbeltown at times). Some guava, orange skins and ripe orchard fruits. Vanilla and toffee. Then some industrial hints with smoke (or maybe cask char) in the background. Slightly restrained, slightly uncommon, rather quirky perhaps, but standing out nicely.

Mouth: rather oily, with more tropical fruits, now mango and papaya appear, along with stewed pear and a citrusy sourness. Not much development, except for some toffee notes, vanilla, Mid-palate it starts showing more woody notes, developing a mild tannic edge (new oak?). Then some gingery notes, mild clove, background smoke and a light hint of cardboard.

Finish: medium length, still grainy with oak spice, overtaking most of the fruitiness. Fresh though.

The combination of tropical fruits, minty smoke and a vague dirty edge makes this stand out. Yet it seems a tad restrained, with limited complexity and development on the palate. So yes, this Loch Lomond 18 is a different, interesting single malt to discover (even with the E150), but the award is perhaps a little exaggerated. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt among others.