Held at the Whisky Rooms in Darlinghurst, we were welcomed with an Earl of Lennox – a cocktail featuring Loch Lomond Blended whisky, honey syrup, fresh lemon, earl grey, and cardamom bitters. It was the perfect thirst-quencher while our eyes adjusted to the darkened, intimate room and surveyed the eight whiskies in front of us.
Before the whisky tasting could begin, it was time to learn more about the brand’s history.
Relaxed at the bar, CEO Colin Matthews explained how he purchased the distilleries in 2014, and has grown them into two of the fastest-growing whiskies around, supplying more than 5% of the world’s Scotch whisky. While the whiskies waited tantalisingly in front of us we learnt how Australia is their 118th export country.
Next up, we were introduced to master distiller Bill White. We entered whisky-lover’s heaven as he talked us through the whiskies in front of us, all of which will be available through Vintage Cellar, First Choice Liquor, and Liquorland from later this year. The tasting started off strong with their lower-budget option, The High Commissioner from Loch Lomond. Smooth and complex, it is the perfect introduction for new whisky drinkers, including my friend Em who’d joined me at the event.
After the High Commisioner, we moved on to the more premium options, tasting blended scotch whisky Loch Lomond Reserve, before moving to award-winning single malts Loch Lomond Original, Loch Lomond 12-year-old, and Loch Lomond 18-year-old.
For me, the non-chill filtered 18-year-old got my vote with a sweeter taste and a hit of peat and smoke. One product was left to our imagination – a 50-year-old single malt retailing for an inordinate amount per bottle. One for the bucket list perhaps?
Straight after Loch Lomond, we were on to Glen Scotia, trying three of the brand’s whisky selection. Glen Scotia was founded in 1832 in Scotland’s Campbeltown, Whisky Capital of the World thanks to its unique fresh water supply and readily available barley and peat. The unfiltered Victoriana, with its subtle wood and vanilla flavout, was so good I could literally drink it for breakfast, although the 50.5% abv. makes that a bad idea I’m sure.
All in all, this was a hugely successful event and we can’t wait to see the products on the shelves here in Australia.
Brooke Nolan is a communications specialist by day with a passion for outdoor adventure, food, drink, and storytelling.