- Brand: Royal Lochnagar
- ABV: 56.2%
Lochnagar was visited by Queen Victoria in 1848 and promptly granted a Royal Warrant, allowing John Begg, the then owner, to add 'Royal' to the name of his distillery. Today, Royal Lochnagar is owned by Diageo. We taste a legendary bottling from the so-called Rare Malts Selection – the forerunner of the Diageo Special Releases, so to speak. After three decades of maturation, it was bottled at cask strength. He has also been bottled for almost two decades now. That will be a feast, for sure.
On the nose it all starts rather lightly on a lot of mineral notes, freshly cut grass and hay. It takes a few minutes before I also detect some woodsmoke with some nice notes of citrus and apricots hidden in it. Something of too long infused fruit tea and apfelstrüdel shine through. It's quite floral, though. I suddenly find myself at the florist, near the shelf with the geraniums. Intriguing, though!
Hey! That's old school. Waxy, peppery, floral, sweet and bitter at the same time and quite special. Apples and lemons, green grapes (pith included) and some bergamot oil. Licorice wood, peach and mint. It goes a bit back and forth, in all directions actually, but that makes it fun. As they say: 'It's all over the place.' This malt certainly is.
The finish is powerful and long, but bizarre. It starts sweet, evolves to somewhat bitter and dies a soapy death. Yes, you heard it right. At the end of the tasting I have detergent in my mouth. Pity.
What a rollercoaster. Thank you, Manny!