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The Whisky Exchange was founded in 1999. In 2009/2010 they presented a series of excellent 10th Anniversary bottlings. This Lochside 1981 is their latest (probably last?) anniversary edition.
Lochside 29 yo 1981 (57,5%, The Whisky Exchange 2010, oloroso cask)
Nose: great fruity notes (redcurrant, some tangerine, grapefruit, passion fruit) – fresh fruits mixed with dried fruits (raisins) and a lovely layer of oak polish / wax. Quite aromatic with a few floral touches. Some spices to add some depth. Whiffs of mint. Rounder than most of the Fino casks that we’ve seen recently, or so it seems.
Mouth: starts on sweet grapefruit followed by plenty of spices and some grassy notes. The honeyed oloroso is noticeable in the background. Then getting drier and sharper with ginger and pepper and a growing bitterness (citrus zest). Still slightly waxy.
Finish: like other Lochsides from this era: long with lemon zest and a Palo Cortado kind of woodiness.
It’s difficult to choose between all the great 1981 Lochsides we’ve seen lately. This is one of the more rounded with attractive fruits on the nose (more than the Fino casks). It’s just the bitterish and zesty flavours that keep me from scoring it much higher, but that’s part of the Lochside character as well. Excellent and exemplary – one of the best 1981’s for me.