A new year brings a new whisky, in fact one so young it is not even officially whisky. Our sample of 'Spirit of Loch Ewe' was distilled on 10th October 2007 and bottled just 22 days later.
Loch Ewe distillery is located at Drumchork Lodge Hotel, near Aultbea in Wester Ross, and is the brainchild of proprietors John and Frances Clotworthy. Distillation takes place in a still so small that it would normally be classified as illicit, had the Clotworthys not received special permission from Customs & Excise authorities to operate it.
Whisky-making at Loch Ewe distillery began in 2006 and quantities of the spirit are currently maturing in two-gallon casks at the distillery's own bonded warehouse. Visitors may also participate in a five-day residential distilling course, at the end of which they may take away a five-litre cask of spirit produced during their 'work experience.'
Spirit of Loch Ewe is available in the bar of Drumchork Lodge in the western Highlands, which also offers 100ml bottles for sale. Such ventures offer members of the public an intriguing opportunity to taste new spirit which
is usually only sampled by whisky industry professionals.
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Loch Ewe, Spirit of Loch Ewe (Scotland) |
Spirit of Loch Ewe offers predictable nose prickle at cask strength, but behind that it is sweet and fruity, with pears and peaches in evidence. Water brings out a mild note of honey. Fresh and clean on the palate, with gentle smoke, and, again, very fruity. With the addition of a few drops of spring water, Loch Ewe is an extremely pleasant drink. The finish is not exactly lengthy yet – but give it time! A notably attractive and palatable new make spirit which bodes well for the finished product a few years down the line. Good to welcome a new distillery to the ranks of Scotland’s whisky-making operations.
Contact +44 (0)1445 731242.
54.3% ABV, 10cl costs £15, Drumchork Lodge.