I am sure many of you know the Lord of the Barflies himself, Mr Roy “Aqvavitae” Duff, and have seen the online buzz around his Single cask release of a special bottle of Loch Lomond whisky.
While Roy was the proud picker of this cask, he is a humble gent who would like to ensure that the credit spans beyond himself. Loch Lomond produced and stored this liquid gold with a big tip of the hat required for the Master Blender Michael Henry. Royal Mile Whiskies who managed the selling & shipping (with the fantastic recycled packaging) of this bottle, including one of the fairest and trouble free purchasing experiences. Then to the barfly Shayla Frahm who created the stunning back label artwork, which has for the first time made me want to store a bottle backwards.
With the whole community feeling, I personally see this bottle as a celebration of the online Whisky community and if that is not a reason to pop a cork and share a glass then, I got many dry months ahead of me.
Last but not yeast let’s talk about the special component in this bottle that added an extra layer of excitement around this release. Chardonnay yeast. Now if you are after the real nitty gritty knowledge of all things fermentation, I struggle to string a sentence together, let alone the brain power for that. Luckily there are a range of Youtubers and blogs out there who can help. All I know if Roy mentioned a while back on his weekly VPubs the excitement caused by an Open Special release of Loch Lomond which was fermented using Chardonnay yeast. Sadly I was unable to try it but the fruit explosion description had me scanning the shops for a lingering bottle.
Then he announced he was releasing his 1st exclusive bottling… a Chardonnay yeast Loch Lomond… a 1st fill Bourbon Barrel 10 Year Old Single Cask at that.
Personally I’m a big fan of cask finishes and often find they can add further depth or even an extra element to the bottle. They can also be used to flood out any weaker spirit and go as far as to overpower any hint of whisky itself. However over the last couple of years I have found there always is something special about a first fill bourbon cask (or sometimes even a refill cask) as it just lets the integrity of the spirit shine through with some lovely smoothed off edges.