Showing posts with label Campbeltown Loch 21. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Campbeltown Loch 21. Show all posts

Campbeltown Loch 21 Years Review


“Indifferent Wood If You (C)Ask Me”

Country: Scotland
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Campbeltown Loch
Produced by: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 21 Years
ABV: 40% 
Chill-Filtration: Information not available. 
Whisky Review # 604
Buying Advice: ­čś× Negative. Too expensive for what it offers.

Colour: Pale Gold/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose: Some Sweet Earthy Peat in the background suggests a bit of Longrow in the mix. I would assume that most of the Malt used for this Blend was matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks but there is a little Sherry influence as well. On the Nose, this Campbeltown Loch is not very outspoken. You would expect more depth given its age but on the other hand it is probably fair to assume that the best Springbank casks are used for the Single Malts. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable but a lot less than in your average Scottish Blend. I find Toasted Cereals, lightly Burnt Toast, Grass and Straw, Toffee, Vanilla Flavoured Candles, Caramel, Dried Fruit, light Honey, Grapefruit, Dried Banana Chips, Lemon Grass, Cinnamon, Salt and hints of Leather and Cardboard. You have to dig deep though to find some of these Aromas. The casks used were certainly not very active.    

Palate: Thin delivery. I'm glad to learn that the more recent 21 Years is now bottled at 46%. Although a higher ABV is sometimes used to hide weak Spirit. In the case of the 40% I'm tasting today there is nowhere to hide though. And unfortunately, the 21 Years does not convince me on the Palate. It's  Thin and there are some light Rubbery - and Metallic off-notes. I also find Sweet Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, light Earthy Peat, light Honey, slightly Bitter Salted Almonds, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Tobacco, Grapefruit Juice and a hint of stale Coffee. 

Finish: A little Thin, Middle-Long and mostly Bitter Sweet with some Sour - and Herbal notes as well. The Grain Alcohol is more noticeable at this point. Quite Dry towards the end with a light Metallic Off-Note. I find Toasted Cereals, Tea, Dried Herbs, Sweet Cereals, Caramel, light Sweet Peat, Refill Oak, Grapefruit Juice, Tobacco, light Leather, Pepper, Licorice and an unexpected hint of Salted Meat.  

Due to the fact that I merely had a small sample at my disposal, I only tasted this Campbeltown Loch neat.

Rating: 81.5   

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20.5


General Remarks:

The Springbank Distillery is one of the very few remaining producers of Campbeltown Single Malt. It's owned by J & A Mitchell & Co. Ltd. and produces three types of Whisky namely Springbank, that is distilled 2,5 times, the peated Longrow that is distilled twice and the unpeated and triple-distilled Hazelburn. Most of the Spirit is sold as Single Malt but a small quantity is reserved for the House Blends Campbeltown Loch (5 and 21 Years) and Mitchell's (12 Years). The Campbeltown Loch 21 I'm tasting today is said to be made of 60% Single Malt (Springbank and others) and 40% Grain Whisky (Girvan). Prices vary a lot from place to place as the 21 Years at 40% has been discontinued in the meantime. They are usually in the 80/160 US Dollar range (March 2017). In 2013, a new 21 Years was launched with new (Springbank like) packaging and an ABV of 46%.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay 

Conclusion: I was expecting a lot more from this Campbeltown Loch 21 years, more so as I thought the NAS (5 Year Old) expression to be an edgy but honest young Whisky with a good Price/Quality ratio. In my opinion the Spirit has not at all benefited from an additional 16 years in the casks. This says something about the casks I'm afraid. It's impossible to create a good mature whisky using inactive - and/or indifferent casks. And in my opinion that's the case here. It's good that Springbank felt the need to give this Blend a face lift and I will try to get a sample of the 46% to see if the Distillery has succeeded in improving the quality of this Blend. As it stands I can't recommend this "old" 21 years bottled at 40%. Better buy a Springbank Single Malt!    

Jan van den Ende                                                                    March 23, 2017