Inchmurrin 12 and Inchmoan 12


Thanks to Yoav of for the sample of the Inchmoan 12

I’ve mentioned Loch Lomond distillery before from a tasting I attended a little under 2 years ago but it warrants mentioning again. It’s probably one of the most interesting distilleries in Scotland. Aside from functioning as both a grain and a malt distillery, with traditional column and pot stills, they have a 3rd set of stills which are a bit of a hybrid.

While the still itself is shaped like a traditional pot still, the neck has rectifying plates in it similar to what one would find in a column still, which means they can play around with where they draw the spirit off, to achieve a wide range of flavour profiles. Because of this they have a large number of brands, each a different combination of spirits from these 3 types of stills (there is a table somewhere on the internet with the list of brands and what each one is made up of and I’d be very grateful if someone could point me to a link for it).

The first of the two whiskies I have here is Inchmurrin 12, which is spirit distilled entirely in their special still and was drawn off at quite a high ABV, so should be light and fruity. The second whisky, Inchmoan 12, is a blend of 2 different spirits off the special still and one distilled in the traditional pot still. Additionally it is peated (unclear if that means some or all of the component spirits were peated).

Inchmurrin 12

Aged 12 years. 46% ABV. Non-chill filtered.

Nose: Dust. Orange peel. Vanilla. Dried apricots. Varnish. Artificial tropical fruit flavouring (reminds me a lot of the Tropical Punch flavoured Fanta from that used to be around when I was a kid). Guava fruit leather. Slight lactic, creamy note in the background, like English style fudge.

Palate: Bitter wood. Vanilla. Dried fruits. Fruit leather. Nutmeg. More tropical fruit flavouring. Very juicy limes. Pickled ginger. Pin lemonade. Sandalwood.

Finish: Medium-long. Sandalwood and other woody spices pick up the pace here. Limes. Fruit notes are still the main component but a bit darker, like plums and nectarines, along with some cacao.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

Inchmoan 12

Aged 12 years. 46% ABV. Non-chill filtered.

Nose: Dust. Wet leaf piles. Chalk. Moulding clay. Citrus zest. Wet cardboard. Newspaper. Extinguished bonfire. .Hints of pears and lychees. Light spiced wine.

Palate: More dank notes, wet leaves, clay, cardboard, like in the nose, but with an additional mineral peat note. Slight lactic creaminess here, but not nearly as pronounced as the Inchmurrin. Bitter citrus, pomelo rind. Some cinnamon and nutmeg. A peppery flair on the swallow.

Finish: Medium-long. Pepper continues throughout the finish and goes on even when everything else has faded. Mineral peat. Wet stone. Something that reminds me a lot of salty pretzels in dark chocolate.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5

The Inchmurrin 12 is a lot fruiter, quite an active bourbon nose. Inchmoan is more closed on the nose. There is a common ‘dusty’ note to both. On the palate too the Inchmurrin is the more active and complex of the two, with the Inchmoan still being a little closed and one-dimensional putting it firmly in ‘meh’ whisky territory for me.

Another gripe with the Inchmoan is the peat profile, it’s kind of like the vegetal peat of a young Islay, but less intense which sounds appealing, because I like that kind of peat, but in practice here it just tastes like wet cardboard.

The Inchmurrin is a clear favourite for me, which is surprising considering I generally prefer peat, but it’s just the more complex, interesting and well made of the two. Even outside of this comparison, it’s a bloody good whisky for its age and price range in its own right.

Bonus Whisky Frankenstein note:
I poured a little of my Inchmurrin 12 (for flavour) and a few drops of a leftover sample of sherried Ledaig (to accentuate the peaty character) into the Inchmoan and it was a huge improvement.


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