Lord Elcho 15 Years Review

“Thin Nobility”

Whisky Review # 656

Country: Scotland
Brand: Lord Elcho
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: A mix of Refill Bourbon- and Ex-Sherry casks.
Chill Filtration: Yes  
Price Range: US$ 60-80 (October 2017)
Buying Advice: 😐Neutral. Not bad but a little Thin and quite expensive!

Colour: Golden Amber with a shade of Orange (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Light and almost understated for a 15 Year old. The Grain Alcohol is there but not in an aggressive way. Bourbon and Sherry cask influence is noticeable. I find Toasted Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Coconut Milk, Apple-Pie with Cream and Vanilla Sauce, Caffe Latte, Citrus Peel, Salted Peanut, Heather-Honey, Cinnamon, Clove, Allspice, Ginger, Floral Perfume, Pineapple and very faint hints of Licorice and Factory Smoke. The Nose is Light but not bad although the Grain Alcohol and the Refill Wood spoil the party ever so slightly.

Palate: Light. Slightly Thin and almost Watery delivery. I find some Toasted Cereals, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Apple-Pastry, Banana, Straw, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Raisins, Sugared Almonds, Sugared Tea, Heather-Honey, Dried Herbs, Citrus Peel, Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, light Aniseed, light Pineapple, Milk Chocolate, Refill Wood and Cocoa Powder.  

Finish: On the short side. Bitter-Sweet, a bit Thin, quite Spicy and a little Hot. Quite Dry and Peppery in the end. I find Toasted Cereals, Toffee, Caffe Latte, Milk Chocolate, Heather-Honey, Mandarin Juice, Lemon Peel, Cinnamon, light Aniseed, Pepper, Straw, Refill Wood and Vanilla-Flavoured Pipe Tobacco.     

Drinking Advice:
Due to the small size of the sample, I only tasted this Lord Elcho neat.

Rating: 80.5 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20

General Remarks:

Lord Elcho 15 Years Blended Scotch Whisky was released in 2012 by Wemyss Malts, the Fife-based blender/bottler, founded in 2005 by William Wemyss. This family has traditional ties to the Whisky industry. Lord Elcho was the eldest son of the 5th Earl of Wemyss. He was born in 1721 and sided with Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprising. After the defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Lord Elcho was stripped of lands and title and exiled to France. The Wemyss family recently constructed the Kingsbarns Lowland distillery. Wemyss released a NAS version of the Lord Elcho Blend in 2014. The 15 Years consists of Grain Whiskies (60%) and Malt Whiskies (40%). The exact recipe is not known but it might change from year to year to guarantee consistency.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay. Palate and Finish on the Thin side.

Conclusion: The Lord Elcho 15 Years is not a bad blend and the Nose gives us sparkles of understated quality. But Palate and Finish are quite Thin and the majority of Aromas and Flavours are mere impressions. I would have expected more depth and volume of 15 Year Old Whiskies. As usual, the low ABV, Chill-Filtration and loads of indifferent casks are the probable villains. Despite its flaws, Lord Elcho 15 Years is still better than most average Blends. It is of course also much more expensive. It's up to you to decide whether you want to spend an average 70 US Dollars on this nice looking Bottle and packaging. Personally, I don't!   

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 20, 2017

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