A distillate that doesn’t get as much attention as it probably should do. Perhaps in time. Nevertheless, Whisky Sponge Edition 53 hails from Loch Lomond and has been matured in a single refill hogshead for 28 years before being bottled at a cask strength of 50.7%.
Nose: A dainty yet deep combination of pineapple and mango atop of musty parchment paper and damp cellar earthiness. Lemon oils and creamed rice join meringue whilst grassiness and overall intensity grows within the glass as the whisky unravels. Dilution presents more expected Loch Lomond notes of porridge and cardboard, whilst also expressing wet wool and tomato consommé. Challenging, but undeniably attractive.
Taste: Oils and evocations. Graphite oil, resin, putty and peppery limestone open into leafy notes set against cooking apples and freshly made margaritas. Pink wafer biscuits and olive brine join dried mango slices and thin slivers of angelica root. Reduction here produces a char that’s almost smoke like – it’s packed full of industrial greases and lubricants and set against a granite sharpness.
Finish: Long with touches of scattered mint and eucalyptus offsetting fading green fruits and mechanised minerality.
An elegantly left-field Inchmurrin (particularly the palate) that’s surprising at every turn. Whilst there’s a lot here which might sound like square pegs and round holes – rest assured this is a Whisky Sponge highlight. Gracefully non-conformist.