For this post we look at the final release in this year’s Loch Lomond series of special edition releases to celebrate all things golf for The Open 2019. The oldest recruit to the 2019 releases is the Colin Montgomerie Three Wood Matured, a 25 year old limited edition single malt whisky release. [ed: We do love a good pun here at WU, and fair play to whoever pitched this name for this release – so to speak ;)] The single malt has been created alongside the Scotland golfing legend, and has been captured at 46.3% ABV. The limited release has been run to just 500 bottles and the whisky was made available and presented during The Open itself with an RRP of £250. The 25yo itself was matured in a combination of refill American oak, first fill French limousine oak and Oloroso sherry casks, hence “Three Wood”. Without further ado, let’s swing into action…
Triple Wood you say? There’s oak-a-plenty here, but it is a real mix of woody and sweet flavours that are coming for the barrels. Altogether it makes for quite a perfumed nose. Acetone is a note I’ve seen a few times within the tweet tasting event, but I think it has more of wood polish note to it. Once it dissipates though there’s a delicious Wether’s Original kind of butterscotch quality beneath it all. It is really conjuring up images of being a classy, old-timer single malt here. Underneath the oak and buttery smells there’s also a good whiff of apples wedged in there. Make that apple pie. This is one that really needs some time to savour and the years are just unfolding here. Finally, there is a double whammy of cinnamon sweetness and spiciness, which, with the other flavours lingering, work together to make the smell of sweet Danish pastries.
The fruity flavours don’t seem to really reveal themselves on the tongue, as the custard / crème patissiere filled pastries and tea falvours takeover. And oak. And whisky. All the key ingredients to one of my favourite breakfasts! Its got it all and is delivered with an unctuous buttery/creamy texture, which seems to be on par with whiskies of a similar age. As it coats the throat and slips down it leaves a butterscotch and gingery finale.
As it does down, there comes the traditional whisky rasp, which the other senses have not really encountered yet. Seemingly, just to remind you that it is a single malt whisky and is not to be taken lightly. It has a nice boozy and drying finish, letting you know that for all the sweetness that has been offered, the cask is king. That oak spice just lingers on and on, well after you’ve drank the liquid.
His critics will always point out that he never won The Open, but with this new major winner, this can sit comfortably as a celebration of Monty’s numerous successful titles and tours as well as his position within the golfing hall of fame. Let’s not forget that this is a whisky that has been created to celebrate The Open, and, back to the point in hand, this is a winner. The age of the whisky seems to have condensed all of its influences into each drop of the liquid which then really delivered a slow and steady series of flavours. Much like Monty, one not to be rushed. Despite all of that buttery profile and unctiousnees, it actually delivers a pretty firey finale and keeps you in check and not just chugging it down. I wonder just how many of these bottles will sell during The Open. We know that they have a tasting lounge and bar at Royal Portrush golf course. All 500 bottles? Probably. Of all the other releases in this year’s golfing range (boom boom), this is probably the most basic or traditional in terms of tastes but it is the classics that stand the test of time in the end isn’t it?
Sample disclosure: This sample was received as part of a Tweet Tasting event organised by Steve Rush @TheWhiskyWire as a promotional event for the Loch Lomdon releases, however all notes above are intended as a honest, fair and independent review of the whisky tasted.
Finally… just how many golfing puns could you find in there?