Inchmurrin 2009 Manzanilla Single Cask
May 2018

Inchmurrin 2009 Manzanilla Single Cask

May’s whisky was exceptional in every sense. Aside from being the last remaining Scotch brand made exclusively on Lomond stills, it was finished in first-fill Manzanilla casks, a variety of sherry rarely used in whisky.

United Kingdom

Colour Chestnut

Nose Intense and almost creamy with dried fruits, raisins and vanilla. Even a touch of custard.

Palate Soft and sweet with green apple, candied orange peel and more raisins followed by salted caramel.

Finish Initially sweet with melted brown sugar and hazelnuts before the trademark Manzanilla dry saltiness comes through towards the end. Quite long and lingering, almost with the sensation of popping candy. Moreish.

Food Match Brie, don’t look any further. Grab a massive slab.

Overview

Set up to be totally self-sufficient, much like a Japanese distillery, Loch Lomond is one of only two remaining “dual” whisky distilleries in Scotland distilling both grain and malt whisky in the same facility. While dual distilleries were common in the 19th century, consolidation and efficiencies during the 20th century meant that nowadays distilleries are either one or the other. Loch Lomond has bucked the trend and taken it a step further. Today the distillery features a set of traditional pot stills, three sets of Lomond stills (the last in Scotland) and three column stills. This enviable set-up allows Loch Lomond to not only make grain spirit, but also eight completely unique styles of malt spirit, from which they can make countless combinations of both single malt and blends. Most importantly, unlike anyone else, they don’t have to rely on other producers to supply whisky for their blends

A Lomond still, as you’re no doubt wondering, is a hybrid style of still that features a traditional pot but is fitted with a rectifying head (like a column still). This allows the stillman to create various styles of whisky on the same still; everything from heavy, oily whiskies through to very light floral whiskies, all at various strengths and all from a single apparatus.

Loch Lomond Distillery produces four single malt styles, each under a separate brand. Loch Lomond (slightly peated) and Inchmoan (heavily peated) combine spirit from both traditional pot stills and Lomond stills, while Inchmurrin (unpeated) is made exclusively from high strength spirit off the Lomond stills. It is the last and only remaining example of this style of Scotch whisky.

Which brings us to our whisky this month, the 2009 Inchmurrin Manzanilla Finish Single Cask Single Malt for The Whisky Club.

Truly unique in every sense; not only is it the last remaining Scotch brand made exclusively on Lomond stills, it’s also been finished in first fill Manzanilla casks, a style of sherry rarely used in whisky. The result, of course, is just delicious as you’ll soon discover for yourself upon opening this month’s malt. But first a bit more on Manzanilla to fully appreciate it…

Manzanilla is a young, pale, dry, Fino style sherry from the coastal region of south-west Spain and maturation is concentrated around the harbour town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Its seaside location off the Atlantic Ocean gives Manzanilla sherry a salty, fresh marine flavour which comes through beautifully in the whisky. It adds a fantastic layer of hazelnut, apples and caramel to the typical raisin and sultana notes expected from a sherry cask, while also bringing a beautiful tangy, salty dryness that you don’t get with other types of sherry casks. Quite simply, this is a beautiful malt that very few whisky lovers around the world have had the pleasure of savouring and it deserves a special spot on your shelf!

Initially filled into cask on the 20 March 2009, it was recasked into first-fill Manzanilla sherry butts in November 2016 before being bottled for us in January 2018, non-chill filtered and natural colour, just the way we like it!

WHISKY SPECS

Price: $110.00

Age: 8 Years and 10 Months Old

ABV: 46%

Maturation: Matured in refill casks for seven years followed by a second 15 month maturation in first-fill Manzanilla sherry butts

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Loch Lomond's History

Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s most famous and beautiful landmarks and delineates the boundary between the Lowlands and Highlands. The area’s been at the heart of the whisky industry for centuries but sadly at least nine distilleries around the Loch have been lost over the years, leaving Loch Lomond Distillery to carry the flag into the 21st century.

Loch Lomond Distillery’s story began way back in 1772 with the founding of Littlemill, Scotland’s oldest, albeit now closed distillery. Littlemill changed hands several times over the centuries before it was acquired in the 1930s by an American called Duncan Thomas. One of the great innovators of the industry (read more about his approach to whisky making below), he lived in the former exciseman’s house at Littlemill and built the new Loch Lomond Distillery in 1963.

Inspired by the 1960s whisky boom, he established Loch Lomond in partnership with Chicago-based Barton Brands who subsequently bought him out in 1971, but later closed the distillery in 1984 when boom turned to bust. Scottish outfit Inver House acquired it before quickly passing Loch Lomond on to Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd in 1986. Glen Catrine is not your average whisky company; operating as the bottling and ageing arm of Bulloch & Co, a well-established blending and retail firm, it specialised in private label and bulk whisky export, marketing a variety of blended whiskies, vodkas and gins. The purchase of Loch Lomond meant that they now had the resources to produce spirit, and Loch Lomond rapidly, but quietly, grew to become the most flexible and arguably the most innovative distillery in Scotland, its operations never widely reported or understood thanks to specialisation in the private label and export business.

During this time Glen Catrine also bought Littlemill Distillery and Glen Scotia Distillery, all of which were neatly bundled together and sold to private equity firm Exponent in 2014. The new structure, Loch Lomond Group, is a totally integrated business with both grain and malt facilities, a bottling hall and two of the UK’s top selling brands; High Commissioner Blended Whisky and Glen’s Vodka. Headed by an A-list cast of professionals from industry leaders Diageo including former Diageo CFO Nick Rose and former CFO for Diageo’s global supply business Richard Miles, along with CEO Colin Matthews, who led Imperial Tobacco’s businesses in Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian sub-continent, they mean business. Since taking over, the distillery’s range has seen a major overhaul including rebranding and repackaging, and most importantly for whisky lovers around the world, a very strong focus on malt whisky. Previously limited mainly to independent bottlings, Loch Lomond single malt is finally getting its turn in the sun.

Distillery Facts

Region: Highlands

Origin: Lomond Estate, Alexandria, Scotland G83 0TL, United Kingdom

Founded: 1963

Water Source: 9 boreholes on site

Washbacks: 21, Stainless Steel (10 x 25,000 litres and 11 x 50,000 litres)

Stills: 3 sets of Lomond stills (wash and spirit), 1 set traditional pot stills (wash and spirit) and 3 sets of column stills (analyser and rectifier)

Capacity: 23,000,000 litres per annum of grain whisky and 2,000,000 litres per annum of malt whisky

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