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Whisky Exchange names Whisky of the Year

Spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange has chosen Loch Lomond 18 Year Old as its Whisky of the Year for 2024.

Whisky Exchange
Loch Lomond’s 18-year-old single malt was selected by the retailer as its Whisky of the Year 2024

The single malt fended off competition from a shortlist of the Glenglassaugh Sandend (runner-up), Glenallachie 15 Year Old (third place), Jura 18 Year Old, Balblair 15 Year Old, and Arran Sherry Cask.

Bottles nominated for the tasting had to be under £90 (US$114) RRP and available for purchase commercially.

Michael Henry, master distiller at Loch Lomond, commented: “It’s a real honour to be presented with this award from The Whisky Exchange, especially knowing that the judging panel was made up of some of the whisky industry’s finest ambassadors.”

To create the whisky, Henry aged the liquid in three different American oak casks for at least 18 years, giving it a fruity and full-bodied profile.

Its notes bring green apple, grapefruit and honeysuckle to the nose, and baked apples, toffee, tobacco leaves and gooseberries to the palate.

Henry added: “The 18-year-old is a great example of our distillery style and our philosophy of flavour creation through distillation. Using spirit from both our straight neck pot stills and swan neck pot stills, capturing different elements of fruit character before maturation in American oak, giving it a wonderful caramelised and baked apple character, full of sweetness intertwined with a hint of smoke.”

Loch Lomond’s 18-year-old bottling has an ABV of 46% and can be bought from The Whisky Exchange website for £87.50 (US$110).

The expression was also recognised with a Gold medal at The Spirits Business’s 2023 Scotch Whisky Masters in the single malts in the Highlands and Islands aged between 13-18 years round.

Whisky Exchange
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin was named the retailer’s Gin of the Year, while Hampden Estate 8 Year Old was selected for rum

Dawn Davies MW, head buyer at The Whisky Exchange, said: “I always love when a whisky wins that people are genuinely surprised by. The reason we started this award was to bring to the forefront some great whiskies that people may have overlooked in the past.

“This year was an especially tough line-up with all six deserving of the crown, so a massive congratulations to Loch Lomond and a whisky that is a delight to drink and great value for money.”

Gin and Rum of the Year

In other categories, Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin won for gin, and Hampden Estate 8 Year Old Rum from Jamaica’s Hampden Estate distillery picked up the honour for rum.

Last week The Whisky Exchange unveiled its annual Black Friday Scotch whisky bottling, which turned out to be a 15-year-old Lowland whisky.

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