Over the past 25 years, The Whiskey Exchange has grown to become one of the world’s leading retailers of fine whisky. It was initially founded in London by brothers Sukhunder and Rajbir Singh, lovers of fine spirits. In the process of building an incredibly large private collection of Scotch, they have managed to swallow countless expressions from within the category. Along with their talented team, they have some of the most experienced taste buds on the planet.
This all means that when they release their annual list of the year’s best whiskies, people listen. And that time has come again. I feel like he’s talking about the 2023 winner here and I can’t believe it. But with just a few weeks until 2024, a new champion will emerge: the Loch Lomond 18-year-old. Uncork the bottle and see what’s so special…
The first thing to note about Loch Lomond is the versatile nature of the distillery itself. This Highland mainstay, located not far from the shores of its namesake body of water, produces a whopping 23 million liters of whiskey each year. Nearly 90% of that huge amount is made up of light grain whisky, poured from oversized column stills.
But the 3 million liters worth of malt produced here is produced in a truly unique way. At his Loch, in addition to his two traditional pot stills, he operates six stills, each functioning no differently than a hybrid pot/column still. These allow distillers to precisely control the body and flavor profile of their distillates. Additionally, the facility has its own cooperative, giving the artisans behind the brand even more control over the final product.
With Loch Lomond 18 drums, it is easy to see the benefits of such micromanagement. This chill-unfiltered liquid is bottled at 92 degrees and remains convincingly full-bodied. The palate is exquisitely rich, with notes of honey, orchard fruit, and finally tobacco leaf. It’s exactly the kind of complex nuance that tickles the fancy of single malt lovers. Therefore, it is not at all difficult to understand how this particular expression brought the highest honors from Skinder His Singh and his associates.
As you can imagine, the people of Loch Lomond are more than happy with the result.
Master Distiller Michael Henry said in a press release: “We are truly honored to have been awarded this award by the Whiskey Exchange, especially given that the jury is made up of some of the best ambassadors of the whiskey industry.” Stated. “The last 18 years are a great example of our distillery style and philosophy of creating flavor through distillation. We use spirits from both straight-neck and swan-neck pot stills, before aging in American oak. It captures various elements of the fruit’s character.”
This latest accolade caps off a monumental year for Loch Lomond whisky. In April, the product portfolio won more medals than any other distillery at the coveted San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
For the Whiskey Exchange award, Loch Lomond 18 Year Old beat out runner-up Glenglasoe Sunend and Glenallahie’s 15 Year Old flagship wine. Rounding out the shortlist were Jura 18 Year Old and Balblair 15 Year Old. It’s worth noting that all five of his standout wines typically sit on U.S. shelves for less than $100 a bottle. Especially during the holiday gift season, well-aged single malts are a poignant reminder that you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to get a special example of Scotch.