2006 Croftengea 12 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1380539

Price: $59.99

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Tasting Notes

This oddball little malt is the first Croftengea (pronounced “Croft-N-Gay”) we’ve ever seen. The heavily peated malt from the reclusive Loch Lomand distillery is easily the best thing they make. A stupendous Highland peater that definitely has some of the more woodsy earthy smoke as well as hints of briny kippers and sea spray. A gorgeous pointed citrus quality and warming fresh bread note round out this powerful yet elegant peater and solidifies it as one of the most affordable and interesting malts we’ve ever sold this year. Similar bottles from other independents are selling for more than twice this price due to the quality and rarity. Hopefully we'll be seeing more from this part of Loch Lomond's oddball line up.

Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    This gorgeous little peater is more proof the preconception in malt whisky does a disservice to all involved. Personally, I have a terrible image of the Loch Lomond distillery. Mostly that's because the distillery bottlings are somewhat underwhelming, but also because some of the single casks we've come across have been down right unpleasant. So when I saw this peated version I was not expecting much. How goddamned wrong I was! This is Highland peat in its most pure form. Here the smoke has developed in a completely different way from its Islay cousins. On the nose powerful smoke ham and delicate stone fruit. There's still a subtle salinity -- oyster brine poured over roasted apricots. Some herring being smoked in the distance. On the palate it's absolutely pristine. Fresh clean soil, smoldering clean coal briquettes, mirabelle. This is peated whisky that will satisfy even the most sensitive palate, but still interest a real Islay lover. Altogether a somewhat Bowmore-y Highlander that is making me very, very happy.
  • William Beare
    By: William Beare
    K&L Staff Member
    "Peat and roses!" It works as a description or an exclamation, and either would apply here. This is a surprisingly complex peated scotch right from the get-go. I always taste whiskey out of a wine glass so as not to leave any notes left behind-- but this can be tough with high proof peaters that breathe fire through the sinuses. With this beauty, the sting fades away after the first few breaths. It smells like a handful of smoky earth and fragrant flower petal. The taste is rich and full, without any overwhelmingly medicinal qualities (hard to find in a well-priced peated scotch). Instead, there are big savory doses of chipotle pepper and candied almonds hiding in the wings of each sip.
  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    K&L Staff Member
    Luscious vanilla from the start blends into cocoa and dried hot peppers. I’m picking up some dried/candied fruits and salted toffee, with just a little oily peat peaking through on the nose. Then whoa, I was not expecting that much peat on the palate. The spicy peppers blend with some tasty tarry smoke, dark leather, earth, and brine. The Scotch gets chewy as I roll it around my tongue, and the flavors stay with me a long time. This is what I’m going to sip on while I decorate my house in the coming dark and chilly evenings.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This cask is a wonderful addition to the single malt selection at K&L. In the nose there are nice light smoke aromas . In the mouth smoke notes and malt flavors blend well in a the light bodied single malt. There is a pleasant sweet finish. This is one that is going to be easy to drink and enjoy, offering something that is different and tasty.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    In the world of whisky "rare" is generally synonymous with "expensive." This doesn't have to always been the case, sometimes you just need someone like K&L to dig up a rarity so obscure that the market hasn't quite figured out what it should cost yet. Loch Lomond is an enormous distillery at the foot of its namesake lake which has the capacity to produce an entire range of spirits, 11 different makes in total. While nearly everything they make has been on the market at one time or another as an official bottling, they really mostly exist in the "behind the curtain" independent bottling and blending world. Croftengea is the most heavily peated malt they produce at Loch Lomond, and one of the most compelling. It's peat is that of pure smoke, not the sea brine associated with Islay, the spiritual home of peated malt. The fruitiness of the malt comes through in a big way, it showcases citrus, sweet pear, and ripe stonefruits that all play beautifully with the smoke of a roaring fireplace. It's so bright that I'm tempted to call it a refreshing malt, but the idea of a refreshing smoky malt does seem odd. In tasting it I'm inclined to think it would make the perfect smoky highball. However you decide to drink it, if you like peaty whisky, you're sure to enjoy this rarely seen brand. At the absurdly low price, you'll be able to enjoy it now and often.
    Top Value!


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