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Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve

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Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve

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Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve

The last Royal Lochnagar that I tried, just over a year ago, was the Selected Reserve from 2003. At the time, I thought it was the best Lochnagar I had tried to date (admittedly that was only 6) and look what comes along today: the Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve bottled in 2009. Well, best to give that one a go as well.

The nose is very soft and wonderfully fruity on candied oranges, figs and banana. Very mildly seasoned. Baked apples with cinnamon. In all honesty just a bit too soft to my taste. Not very expressive. You have to work for it. Nice, but hard to discover. Breathing works wonders.

Very soft and a tad thin on the palate, but luckily much more expressive than on the nose. I get some more oranges, but also toffee, some earthy notes (mushrooms?) and burnt caramel. A hint of mint and cappuccino. That’s more like it. From the second sip on it really becomes very good. A growing malt!

It’s mostly the cappuccino that lingers in the medium long finish, joined by some woodsmoke. The finish is the strongest element of this malt.

Very good on the condition that you give it time and are willing to work for it. The finish is great. Lovely Lochnagar, but cannot compete with the one I tried before.


Thirteen years after King William IV visited the Brackla distillery near Cawdor Castle and and bestowed upon them a Royal Warrant, Queen Victoria visited the Lochnagar distillery near Balmoral Castle. She did the very same thing and since then it’s Royal Lochnagar. The Selected Reserve is a limited series is that is released from time to time (but not yearly). It is bottled at drinking strength. Judging by the color, quite a bit of sherry matured Lochnagar went into the mix.

Dark and sweet, very soft and aromatic nose on raisins, candied orange peel, fresh fig, old leather, pineapple and banana. Cloves are in charge. Caramel and caffé latte in the background. Mokatine becomes grand and dominates after a few moments. Very good indeed.

The palate is a nice continuation of the nose, with loads of sherry notes, but with some earthy notes and a slight bitterness through the whole. I would have liked to body to be a bit more oily, but the taste is more than fine. Quasi complex.

The finish is a tad too short to be called long, but remains dark and sweet. At the death a perfumy note (lavender?) appears, which is unbecoming of this beautiful nose and palate.

If the finish was not a bit of a let-down, this would have been a belter. Nevertheless, this is still the best Lochnagar I have tried to date. Recommended.

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