Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Glennlay Inc. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
From Glennlay Inc. in Scotland comes Loch Fyll, a blended Scotch Whisky originating from the Eastern Highlands and Speyside regions. It is made in an (unnamed) distillery with over 50 years of experience in distilling, bottling and exporting. According to Glennlay, “Our Master Distiller has carefully selected the distilleries from the prestigious Speyside and eastern Highlands region of Scotland to blend our unique whisky.”
Loch Fyll hit U.S. shelves in November 2020 and the market response has been fairly quiet so far. In general we know that blended Scotch must come from Scotland and it is a combination of malt whiskey and grain whisky. I tend to associate these bottles with my parents’ generation, some of whom enjoy cocktails made with blended Scotch. I remember my father liked to order a Rusty Nail made with blended Scotch and Drambuie (a liqueur that’s also based on Scotch) on occasion.
According to a 2018 article in The New York Times, “The blended Scotches of yore seem like such an afterthought that it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that they still vastly outsell single malts, though their proportion of the Scotch market has dwindled since 1990, the first year for which statistics differentiating between single malts and blends are available.” Presumably blends outsell single malts because they are considerably less expensive. Their place in the American bar is well established, as they tend to be popular for drinking neat and necessary for mixing up certain classic cocktails.
Loch Fyll retails for $19.99 per 750 Ml bottle and is currently available in bars and liquor stores in New Jersey and New York State. Distributors expect to have it out in five additional states (Florida, California, Wisconsin, Florida, Illinois and Colorado) by the end of the summer.
Tasting Notes: Loch Fyll Blended Whisky
Vital Stats: Aged a minimum of 3 years, mash bill unavailable, 86 proof (43% ABV).
Appearance: The color is a light gold.
Nose: The nose is muddled but sweet, with notes of vanilla and amaretto on the front. The essence of dark fruits are noted on the back end with tart cherry, fig and ethanol.
Palate: The palate like the nose is a blur of flavors without any clear front runner. This reminds me of the berry flavored maple syrups found at IHOP. It is sweet and nutty like a Nutella and jam sandwich.
From a tasting standpoint, Loch Fyll is better than expected. For an inexpensive blended Scotch it does not offend and is absolutely acceptable for mixing in your favorite whisky cocktail and even sipping on ice. Where it falls short for me is in the pure lack of transparency that this brand provides. We have little way to know what this is made from or where the distillates are sourced. Personally I prefer to have a little more information about the whisky I’m drinking, particularly when there are claims of prestigious origins. That being said, at the end of the day this is an affordable and accessible bottle that makes a fine addition to any home bar for mixing up a Blood and Sand or any other whisky cocktail favorites.
User Review3.86 (7 votes)
Faith Raspante is a freelance writer and bartender based in Portland, Oregon. A love of craft cocktails and creative mixology led Faith to discover the nuanced pleasure of tasting whiskey and other spirits. When she isn’t behind the bar or in front of a laptop she enjoys boating, home improvement...