Loch Lomond Distillery had quite an inauspicious start. Founded in 1965 and located in the Western Highlands production originally commenced with just one pair of stills. As all the production went into blends we doubt if many people knew it even existed. In 1984 the distillery closed with the downturn in the market and that could’ve easily been the end of the story.
However, new owners came in in 1987, and over the next 25 years, more stills were added but uniquely, all of them were different. Today Loch Lomond would easily win the award for most styles of whisky produced. They use 11 stills of four different kinds and are all shapes and sizes. They even produce grain whisky.
The whisky’s reputation has also taken a while to rise up the ranks. There was a time that even the few people who had heard of Loch Lomond would’ve ranked it below Fettercairn. However, new ownership has transformed not only the distilleries reputation but also, more importantly, its sales. Production is increasing; last year 2.8 million litres of single malt and 2 million litres of grain were produced. A new, extensive core range now consists of a NAS, 10, 12, 14, 18, 21 & 30-year-olds, plus numerous cask finishes and limited-edition older expressions are being released.
Hong Kong and Shanghai-based Asian investment fund Hillhouse Capital Management took over ownership in 2019. They have deep pockets and huge expansion plans. The future looks very bright for this once very unloved distillery. Croftengea is the name of their peated malt which is produced in limited quantities to add smoke to the company’s blends. The ppm is 35 which sits at the heavily peated end of the spectrum (Laphroaig is 45 ppm as a point of reference).
These casks are relatively rare. The 2016 ones we had on the stock list which have been re-charred have a lot of life left in them yet, and would certainly appeal to whisky enthusiasts and thus the Independent Bottling market.
Loch Lomond Group ( Hillhouse Capital Management)
Capacity: 5.0m litres.
variable 92 – 160 hours.
Peated/Unpeated: 90% unpeated / 10 peated (also grain whisky is produced)
Casks Used: Bourbon, sherry, Madeira,
Current Sales: 90,000 9l cases
Recent significant awards: N/A
Independent bottlings: Around 300
Distillers Choice NAS, 10, 12, 14, 18, 21, 30.
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