I once tasted the 2007 version of a 1991 Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Lochside and really wasn’t too happy about that. It was very light as opposed to the Lochsides chosen for the Gordon & MacPhail Reserve range. I don’t know if its only reduction that shows the difference, or maybe better casks are chosen for the Reserve range. I said ‘better’ as opposed to ‘different’ since I know that in both ranges Refill Bourbon Barrels were used. If you want to compare this 2003 Connoisseurs Choice bottling with a Gordon & MacPhail Reserve bottling, Please take a look at Cask #15217 I reviewed earlier. There is a difference of almost 17% in ABV between these two!
Color: Light Gold.
Nose: Fruity and light, maybe slightly sweet. Hints of distant smoke. Slightly waxy and more yellow fruits. Peach, apricots that sort of fruit. Not banana’s! Slightly malty, but its a young Whisky. Besides this, it also has a powdery and dusty side to it. Hardly any wood and very clean and easy. Still I can’t get rid of the image of diluted sugar in the back of my mind. Clay and a little bit of wood after a few minutes in the glass.
Taste: Well this starts with, …wood and some clay! Something I would have never guessed smelling this. It starts with wood and some character building bitterness. Than a quick brake-down and very short finish. This all happens very quickly. Let’s try again and see what else is in this. Very malty and watered down yellow fruit syrup, again in the apricot part of the garden, but not very sweet. Floral again. Do I detect some smoke in the taste of this Lochside? It isn’t a rounded out Whisky. It has some markers and that’s it really. Unbelievably short finish, with more bitterness than expected.
Your un-complex and summer malt this is. Very light and inoffensive. light, clean and fruity and dare I say, feminine? It the Whisky worlds answer to Lemonade (just without the acidity). The sour part is replaced by some fruity sweetness and a floral perfume. On the palate the wood does its magic. Spicy and a bit bitter.
For me this Whisky really did suffer from reduction. When compared to other 1991 bottled by Gordon & MacPhail (at cask strength), this can’t match up to those. Is it the reduction, or the casks chosen for use in the Connoisseurs Choice range and the Gordon & MacPhail Reserve range?