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Probably the best known of the kangaroo distilleries (a small single malt distillery located on the premises of a grain distillery plant, trademark by Pandemonium), Inverleven was born in 1938 in the house of Dumbarton. But that was not the even the strangest thing about her, the other oddity was that she was running for 50% on Lomond stills. Though she survived longer than her siblings, she was never more than an accessory to the Dumbarton grain complex and met her demise in 1992 when the grain distillery was deemed redundant. But like that other kangaroo distillery Ben Wyvis it seemed that there was life after death as much of her equipment was shipped to Islay for a new distillery. The Port Charlotte project was ill-fated but Inverleven simply refused to die: one of her Lomond still was recycled for the production of gin at Bruichladdich as ‘Ugly Betty’ and Mark Reynier took the two regular potstills with him to Ireland. You can nowadays see them at work at the Waterford distillery, one of the flagships of the Irish Whiskey renaissance.
Description: distilled in 1979, bottled in 1992 by Gordon&MacPhail for the Distiller’s Label range. Synthetic notes of dishwater detergent along with orange extracts, a whiff of vanilla and, grain, lots and lots of grain.
Mouth: a sweet fizzing experience for the tongue with a creamy body. The palate is a cheap knockoff Fanta lemonade with candied ginger.
Finish: a short dry burst of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Verdict perfectly fitting the easy-Sunday-sipper description: fresh and powerful but lacking any kind of depth. Though Inverleven is getting a lot of flak for its mediocrity, this dram was demonstrably fine but just too forgettable.