.loch lomond - single grain scotch whisky

Scotch Single Malt, as per definition from the SWA, should be distilled in one or more batches at a single distillery, from malted barley and in pot stills. From those same definitions we can derive that any grain distillate not following these rules to the full 100%, is to be called a single grain. Therefore, although this whisky has been made with the same specifications as the Inchmurrin and Loch Lomond single malt distillates, she has to be called "Single Grain", merely because she has been distilled in a continuous Coffey still.
A very interesting statement, but first things first; what does she taste like?

46% abv, €not for sale yet
single grain - or is she?

Nose: sweet, fruit, banana, citrus, navel oranges, meringue
Palate: sweet, honey, treacle, hints of vanilla, citrus, sweet navel oranges, meringue
Finish: sweet, honey, toffee, haagse hopjes, mocha
Mark: +++++ 

Conclusion: Not bad, really. When I learned (at the Maltstock campfire tasting) that this was a 4-4.5 years old distillate, I was quite surprised. She has matured this short period in American Oak casks, and these must either have been very active (first fill) ex-Bourbon casks or the method of distillation has had a larger impact as anyone would have thought. I, for one, would like to re-investigate the full bottle, if the price is right...

More info: So. Knowing from our trip to the distillery that they have a Coffey still distilling the same malted barley, from the same mashtuns, following the same recipes as they would use for their pot still and Inchmurrin stills (basically a pot still with a small three-plated column as a neck - if anyone can explain to me what the difference is with a Lomond still, please do so). Following the rules to the letter, this distillate is not a single malt, but a single grain, made from only malted barley, distilled in a small-ish column still, instead of a pot-still, and to a higher abv as most pot still distillates. Rules are silly sometimes, but not following them, bending the rules, or just interpreting them differently and finding a loop-hole, can definitely come to great results.

There is no need (yet) for a new category, the Loch Lomond distillery is (so far) the only Scottish distillery using this equipment in this way, and there is, in my opinion no reason for alarm. As one of the few distilleries, Loch Lomond is also able to make an (also non-existing) Single Blend category, which they might do in the future, if they are keeping up this pace. Perhaps, from the vast amount of different spirit styles they can produce at the distillery, they may already be doing so, but are not telling us, just not to make things more complex. Makes you wonder.

.the sample was shipped to us by the Loch Lomond distillery, to participate in a "flash blog" tasting on the 7th September 2016. The sample arrived on the 6th and I was quite busy at the time, so I was rather late with my note (sorry for that), but it also gave me the time to further investigate.

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