Royal Lochnagar 2002 Review

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland - Eastern
Brand: Royal Lochnagar 2002 (Coopers Choice) 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years
ABV: 46 %
Date: 13/10/2013

Colour: Straw/Fino Sherry

Nose: Rather Subdued. So give it sufficient time to open up. A Highland surely with Green Apple, Pear Drops, Oat Meal Porridge with a lump of Butter, Grass and Hay, Heather, Honey, Malt, Lemon Peel, Toffee, Perfumed Soap, Menthol and Oak. The Alcohol is not yet fully integrated. 

Palate: Nothing out of the ordinary but Spicy and Creamy with Malt, Toffee, slightly Bitter Oak, Milk Chocolate, Pear, Lemon, Pepper and Mint.

Finish: Middle-Long, Sweet and Dry with Malt, Oak, Toffee/Caramel, Lemon, Mint and Spices like Pepper and Nutmeg.

I added a bit of Water and the Nose gets more Honey, Malt, Floral Notes and Pear Drops. Creamy and less Bitter on the Palate and in the Finish with more Chocolate and Toffee. In this case I would recommend to add a couple of drops of Water. 

Rating: 85.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The original Royal Lochnagar Distillery was built in 1823 and was twice destroyed by fire, respectively in 1824 and 1841. In 1845 it was rebuilt by John Begg. It received its Royal Warrant in 1848 and is located in Lochnagar, Royal Deeside near Balmoral Castle. Current owners are Diageo. Most of the production goes into Blends like Johnnie Walker Blue and Black.

The Single Malt we are tasting today was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2012. It was matured by - and bottled for The Vintage Malt Whisky Co. Ltd under their brand name Coopers Choice. This Independent Bottler was founded in 1992 by Brian Cook, a guy with 20 years of experience in the Malt Whisky Industry. It matured in Ex-Bourbon Hogshead # 0642 and costs around 70 US Dollars. Only 360 bottles were commercialised. This whisky is naturally coloured and not chill-filtered.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: This was Queen Victoria's favourite distillery it seems. Hence the Royal Warrant! On the Nose this Royal Lochnagar certainly is delicate and perfumed. On the Palate I find a nice balance between the creamy (Milk) Chocolate and the light Spices. Regular readers will know that I usually prefer to sip my Single Malts neat but in this case a little Water emphasises the good qualities of this spirit and neutralises the light Bitterness. To sum it all up, this Royal Lochnagar does not blow me away completely but at around 70 US Dollar it is well worth the money.

Jan van den Ende                                                      October 2013

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