When you think of Scotland – or at least the stereotypical thoughts of Scotland – scotch whisky is always amongst the first of the mental images to come to the mind’s eye. It certainly is over here, anyway. Another is golf. For years, the two have gone hand in hand, and until recent years, Glenmorangie had been the sponsor of the largest golfing tournament to grace the UK, The Open. That changed however in 2018 when the Loch Lomond Group, was awarded a 5 year deal to sponsor The Open Championship – the only one of the four major golfing tournaments held outside of the USA. With that deal, came a series of limited releases to mark the occasion, including the eponymous “The Open”. Flash forward a year, and its time for golf season again, and a new set of releases have reached the market, including a new version of The Open – The Special Edition “Director’s Cut”. The release has been chosen by the master distiller, Michael Henry, for this year’s tournament, being held at the Royal Portrush Golf Club, in Northern Ireland (19-21 July 2019). As with other Loch Lomond releases, the spirit was originally distilled through their straight neck pot stills, and this edition has been matured across a series of three American oak casks, and bottled without an age statement at 46% ABV. The regular sized bottle retails for roughly £45 and is presented as “The Spirit of The Open”…
Director’s cut, you say? Cut straight from the green, maybe? It is fresh and lively. It is bursting with the smell of cut grass, apples, apricot, oats, malt, biscuit, peach, vanilla. It also reminds me of a white wine kind of drying and oaky smell. There’s a strong barley/grist smell to it too. Lots of people online were saying lemon meringue – but I was picturing just straight-up lemons. Some people were also saying smoke, but all I’m getting it the “oke” part. Oak, if you will.
A nice and oily texture leads the creamy way, but that grassy note really cuts through. The lemon zest does too. Loads of lemony experiences going on in fact. It is conjuring up mental images of juice bursting out of a freshly squeezed lemon. Little bit of oak and gingery spice adding to the zing of the flavours. The creamy texture is almost milk chocolate like.
There’s a delicious bite to it – the oak and boozy tingle makes this a really mouth-watering experience. Far more than the nose was letting on. Ginger and vanilla linger on the finale.
Such a great little whisky. So full of life. So fresh, and yet so much going on. Its got the crisp white wine sensation without being chilled or well… wine for that matter. It was so fruity from the off (think cut green apples and all those fresh fruits listed above), but then the oily texture adds this extra layer of flavours and mouthfeel that rounds the whisky out. Oooh, that oak rounds it out. There are lots of whisky tasting profile boxes checked here and none at the sacrifice of another. A fresh and sweet whisky to please most whisky drinkers. One final note: the empty glass smells like a malting floor. A sign of a good malt!
Sample disclosure: The sample tasted above was received and enjoyed as part of a promotional @TweetTastings by @TheWhiskyWire, as part of the whisky’s release for the 2019 Open. All tasting notes however are intended as an honest, fair and independent review of the whisky.