Lochside 1991 (Daily Dram) Review

“Behind Closed Doors”

Whisky Review # 717

Country: Scotland
Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Lochside 1991- Closed Distillery (1992)
Bottled By: Daily Dram in 2008 - 252 Bottles
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Sherry cask  
Chill Filtration: No           
Price Range: US$ 450-500 (April 2018). Will be hard to find though.
Buying Advice: 📈 For investors and collectors only.     


Light Golden (Natural Colour)


This is only my second and probably my last Lochside. It's really like Nosing a piece of history. That said, this Single Malt needs a lot of airtime before you start Nosing as there's a huge initial waft of Varnish or Pain Thinner. This does diminish over time but it never totally disappears. I would normally connect that to New Oak but that's not the case here. This Lochside matured in a Refill Sherry cask and not a particularly active one at that. There are no Sherry monsters in sight. The Nose is mostly Sweet and Fruity but a few Sour and Floral tones pop us as well.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butterkekse (German Butter Biscuits), Toast, Fresh Puff Pastry, Lemon, Banana, Nectarine, Hay, Fresh Herbs and Cinnamon.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Apple, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Honey, Raisins, Nuts, Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder, Oak, Fanta Orange, Bourbon-like Glue and slightly Sour Passion Fruit.     
Lochside 1991 DD


Bitter-Sweet, a little Sharp and Nervous and quite Dry. A few Sour and Green notes as well. It's in line with the Nose but less Fruity.

Main Flavours:

Barley, Toast and Salted Butter, Varnish, Seville Orange, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Slightly Sour Passion Fruit, Banana, Refill Oak, Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder and Pepper.               

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Dried Fruit, Peanut Butter, Papaya Cream, Nutmeg and Espresso.  

Middle-Long, a little Sharp and Edgy and basically Bitter-Sweet. Some Sour notes towards the Dry end. You really wouldn't give it 17 years at this point. I find Malt, Dark Chocolate, Refill Oak, Grapefruit, Varnish, Espresso, Strawberry Jam (the kind of industrialised small cartons you get for breakfast at three star hotels), Pepper and a bit of Dried Fruit (Banana, Plums perhaps) and Nuts.     

Drinking Advice:

I added the famous 4 drops of Water and that helps to get rid of the Varnish on the Nose that becomes quite Fruity and Malty. Like one of those French Puff Pastries filled with Peach that you buy in Brittany and Normandy. Palate and Finish do not change a whole lot but become more user-friendly. My advise would be to add a few drops of Water in this case.

Rating: 84     

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

Drinking Experience:



The Lochside Brewery was founded in 1781 in Montrose (Angus). In 1957 it was bought by Macnab Distilleries Ltd and was converted into a Whisky distillery that produced both Grain and Malt Whiskies. It was owned by Allied Domecq when mothballed in 1992 and demolished in 2005. A large part of the output was used in Spanish Blends and the Sandy Macnab Blend. The latter Brand is now owned by Chivas Regal (Pernod Ricard). 

Daily Dram is a joint-venture between The Nectar, Zolder Belgium and the Dutch importer Bresser & Timmer.

I certainly liked Tasting this Lochside. First of all because it's a part of history and also because the Malts distilled in 1991 and before still show stubbornness and quite a bit of character. Nothing mainstream as yet. It also has its flaws of course. The cask was not first class (Varnish) and the Spirit certainly could have done with a few more years in the cask. It's a bit Rough and Edgy but also quite consistent from Nose to Finish. I would certainly like to try other Lochside expressions but that won't be easy if not impossible. Buying a bottle of this Single Malt at the current price level does not make sense from a Flavour/Aroma point of view. But to become the owner of a piece of history might be a good proposition for the collectors among us!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     April 16, 2018

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Carissa Hickling said...

Interesting... the Lochside 1981 from Gordon & MacPhail - particularly the cask strength one - remains one of my all-time "wow!" whiskies with the most amazing finish. Even the 43% which I had last year did not disappoint. I know it is highly unlikely I'll have another chance to try such a piece of whisky history, so appreciated reading about your experience.

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Carissa, thanks for your comment. I also enjoyed a very old Lochside 1967 (45 Years) by Malts of Scotland. Really liked that one! You can read my review on the blog if you like. I agree with you, the chance of coming across another older Lochside is quite small. What a pity!