Just in time for Burns Night, Lochlea Distillery have released their first ever age-statement: Lochlea 5-Year Old.
Lochlea is an independently-owned distillery under the management of ex-Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell. Having built up one of the top ten Scotch brands in the world over the past 27 years, John brings a wealth of knowledge and a burning ambition to help Lochlea fulfil its potential.
Rooted in Scottish history, Robert Burns called Lochlea his home throughout his formative years, from 1777 through until his father’s death in 1784. By day, Burns worked hard on the farm and in the evening he enjoyed the company of his friends, debating at the Bachelors Club in nearby Tarbolton. This location has inspired the honest, passionate and progressive nature of Lochlea whisky, just as it inspired Robert Burns.
“Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne'er fail in old Scotland!"
John Barleycorn: A Ballad (1782) - Robert Burns
Did you know that Robert Burns wrote 'John Barleycorn' whilst he lived on Lochlea Farm? A ballad all about the lifecycle of barley and its role in whisky production, which still rings true on Lochlea Farm today.
With just 2,000 bottles available globally, it’s no surprise that we sold out of Lochlea 5 Year Old in record time! We still want to take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement for our friends at Lochlea and explore this delicious dram further.
The Lochlea 5 Year Old is a vatting of 5 casks, 2 of which are from the distillery’s very first cask filling back in 2018! The 5 casks comprise of: 2 first-fill Bourbon barrels, a first-fill Oloroso Sherry cask, a double matured PX Sherry cask and a double matured Oloroso Sherry cask.
For the uninitiated, “double matured” means the spirit has spent a certain number of years in one cask before being transferred into a different cask for the remaining years. For example, 3 years in a Bourbon barrel then transferred into a Sherry cask for 2 years.
What does it taste like?
This dram opens with rich, cake-like notes of brown sugar and baked pineapple on the nose. This gives way to citrus zest and candied pear crumble on the palate. Tangy orange peel slowly melts into sumptuous caramel on the finish, accompanied by hints of black pepper, rose petals and leather.
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, we hope you enjoy a wee dram in honour of Scotland’s national bard this evening! If you missed out this time, you can still mark the occasion in style with one of Lochlea’s other equally delicious offerings:
Lochlea 'Our Barley' is Production Director John Campbell's masterpiece! It's their first single malt core expression, which sits alongside their seasonal limited editions. The recipe has been carefully honed in First-Fill Bourbon Barrels, Oloroso Sherry Butts and STR Barriques to create a beautifully complex whisky.
Nose: Baked pineapple, brown sugar, hazelnuts, sourdough bread
Palate: Lemon zest, candied pear crumble, orange peel
Finish: Caramel with hints of black pepper, rose petals and leather
Lochlea Cask Strength Batch 1 is the first in a series of annual limited-edition bottlings. Each batch will be bottled straight from the casks without water, like trying samples from the warehouse itself!
Master Blender John Campbell and the team at Lochlea have chosen Bourbon and Sherry casks this time, and every year will show further progression of our whisky.
Nose: Fruit punch, cigar notes, coffee beans
Palate: Signature Lochlea fruit, Brazil nuts
Finish: Orange syrup mixed with aged oak shavings
Since 2022, Lochlea have released four seasonal expressions, each representing a season in the farming calendar: Sowing, Harvest, Fallow, and Ploughing. Each whisky offers a unique taste profile and reflects the changing nature of farming throughout the year.
Whichever dram you choose, we say Oidhche Bhlas Burns! (Or, Happy Burns Night, for our sassenach followers.) Slainte!