Lochside 1965

The star of an excellent tasting by Adelphi for Glasgow's Whisky Club was this rare, unusual, old single blend (that's right, single blend) from the long closed Lochside distillery.

Lochside, which operated at Montrose between 1957 and 1992, is one of a small number of distilleries to have produced both malt and grain whisky. But it's rare indeed for the two to be blended together before being put into cask.

46 years is a very long time for a spirit to spend in cask, and it does result in aromas and flavours which younger whiskies never exhibit. Indeed even the appearance is unusual - it's as dark and viscous as a Pedro Ximinez sherry.

The nose is frankly amazing. Super sweet, but also savoury like a marinade for something about to be grilled, there is a complex array of notes from coconut to chocolate to malt to floor polish to violets. It changes too, sometimes showing the grain character, and seeming very rum-like, as old grain whiskies do. At other times it seems much maltier, with the classic christmas cake nose of a rich old Highland dram.

The palate does not disappoint. Treacle, chocolate, coconut, burnt toasty malt, creamy coffee, burnt toffee, dried vine fruits, this is a real meditation dram, but it's also very moreish. Those sweet flavours are so attractive, yet so well balanced by the bitter notes, I could drink this all night (whilst stopping occasionally to wonder at that rare violet note - something I almost never find in whisky).

A truly excellent dram, but sadly rather out of my price range at around £225. Not to worry: once tasted, never forgotten!