Expression: Selected Reserve
Royal Lochnagar is another one of those lesser known distilleries. Sure, everybody (who is into whisky) has probably heard of it, but not everyone has actually tasted it before. I’m one of them. This distillery mainly produces for Diageo’s Johnnie Walker blends, as do many of the Diageo owned distilleries. Not much in the way of single malt is produced from here, but the Selected Reserve is one. The Lochnagar distillery was awarded their Royal Warrant in the mid 19th century, when Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children visited the grounds, as it is situated not far from Balmoral Castle, where the British royal family celebrates their holidays. I acquired a sample of this whisky from Thijs. Him and me seem to be in agreement about this malt, which you can see if you read our notes. Not everyone agrees with us it seems, as this whisky gets mixed reviews.
Nose: Old wood, moist. A bit waxy and leathery. Dark chocolate and cherry, raisins and some caramel. An orange-like freshness, but also polish or furniture wax. Marzipan and almonds. Quite fudgey. Loving this nose, reminiscent of some good, old, sherried whiskies.
Taste: Weirdly grassy. Clear sherry still, but not as heavy. Lighter on the palate than expected, really quite refreshing. Almonds again, dark chocolate. A bitter spice, maybe cinnamon or nutmeg. Round and well balanced.
Finish: Lingering sherry and sweetness. Chocolate has subsided a bit, leaving room for sweet malt. A hint of smoke now, like what you get from roasted meat. Coffee/mocha in the back. Bittersweet orange peel.
Overall: A really lovely whisky. As said; there seems to be a bit of a discussion about this whisky going on, not everybody seems to think it’s as good as I and some others do. Some people really like it, some people don’t. As of today I’m officially a member of the first group. Delicious stuff.
Rating: 4 stars (86-90 range)