Grain

Lochside 52 Years Old 1963 The Sovereign (48.1%, Hunter Laing, Refill HH #11835, 83 Bottles, 2015)

Lochside 52 Years Old 1963 The Sovereign

Whisky Review

  • ABV: 48.1%
  • Age: 52 Years Old
  • Bottling: Hunter Laing, The Sovereign
  • Category: Single grain scotch whisky
  • Cost: £sold out
  • Origin: Lochside Distillery
  • Vintage: 1963
lochside-52-year-old-1963-cask-11835-the-sovereign-hunter-laing-whisky

Image courtesy of Master of Malt

What they say

Distilled October 1963 at Lochside distilley, this single grain scotch whisky has been matured in a single refill hoghsead #11835 for 52 years before bottling in 2015 by Hunter Laing.

Official tasting notes:

  • Nose: Rich, concentrated, resinous toffees, cinnamon Danish pastries and honeycomb polish.
  • Palate: Vanilla and allspice, caramel, marmalade, some dignified oak tannin balanced by creamy sweetness.
  • Finish: Fruitier with aromatic tobacco leaf.

What I say

An old, very old, grain whisky from the now silent and long-gone Lochside distillery. Distilled in 1963, a mere 5 years after the brewery was converted into a distillery in 1957 by Macnab distillers Ltd. This expression has spent 52 years maturing in a refill hogshead and produced a mere 83 bottles at 48.1% ABV at outturn.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Bronze brown (14/20), medium-fine tears and ill-defined medium legs.
  • Nose: Woody sugars, oak wood, pencil shavings, coffee, toffee, caramelised sugar, creme brulee, vanilla, a touch solventy with some rubbing alcohol, sugary and buttery flapjacks.
  • Taste: Light bodied, silky on the palate, woody with a little camphor, clove and eucalyptus, mint, dark fruits, blackcurrant/bramble and earthy elderberry, earthy and burnt, wood char.
  • Finish: Long, syrupy, wood juice and treacle toffee.

Overall

I have the feeling this was just caught on the right side of woodiness, a little camphor and new pine sap challenge the palate but are backed by such intense and dark brown sugar sweetness it is hard not to enjoy this one. An extra smile for relative rarity of such expressions and much love for old grains such as this!

Score 91/100

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