Over four decades ago a batch of premium single malt whisky was crafted at Lochside, one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. The whisky was matured in ex-bourbon casks and carefully transferred to a cask numbered 804, sealed and stored. Forty-five years later, the cask was purchased in an estate sale by Vintage Malt Whisky Company of Glasgow and the Vancouver liquor agency, Von Albrecht and Associates. The first bottling consists of merely thirty etched limited production bottles, each complete with a handmade oak barrel cask box and shield. Whisky expert Jim Murray has referred to this whisky as “the rarest whisky a person can own”, and the few not spoken for bottles are available in British Columbia for $5,500.
Lochside Distillery was founded in 1957 by Joseph Hobbs. The distillery featured four pot stills and a coffey still for grain distillation. In 1973 the distillery was acquired by Destileras y Crianza del Whisky S.A. of Madrid and in 1992 became a subsidiary of Allied Distillers, then later, Ricard Pernod. In 1992 production ceased and by 1996 all of Lochside’s stock was depleted meaning this latest bottling is one of the last available from the historic distillery.
On December 4, 2012 the ancient Lockside whisky will be officially released along with the announcement of its rating by Jim Murray who has already confirmed he has given these bottles the highest ever. The whisky has been described by Murray as having a nose that is “smooth, mellow, fruity, with tropical fruits (papaya, guava, mango)”, a palate that is “very smooth, slightly grainy, with cooked cereals, peach, guava and mango” and a finish that is “medium grain, smooth, and like a fine cognac”.
An invitation only tasting will take place in early December for qualified buyers. The Junior Culinary Team Canada will be cooking, glasses of Lallier Champagne will be poured and the Jim Murray whisky rating will be unveiled. A few lucky will also be able to sample the $300 an ounce dram (a draw will be held).
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