Review – Loch Lomond, 12 Years Old, 46%

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The eighth-grade teacher at the Christian school where I serve as the pastor is knowledgeable in music. And by music, I mean the good kind—the kind with bands like AC-DC in its list. Being a man of similar quality, I’ve been sure to catechize my children in the joys of these better things. As it would go, they know and sing along to songs that many of their peers have never heard before.

Near the end of this past school year, my daughter, Evelyn, came home with news that she’d won an impromptu contest during history on behalf of her sixth-grade class. As it would go, this particular teacher pitted the sixth grade against a combined seventh and eighth grade, challenging them by playing the first three seconds of a song. If they could name the tune, they won a point. If they could recall the band, too, they won a second point.

After the first few songs, it became clear to Evelyn’s teammates that if they were going to win, they’d better get out of her way. And they did.

Needless to say, it was a bloodbath. Evelyn knew every band and every song, often proving the three-second timer unnecessary. From Def Leppard to Motorhead to Van Halen, she nailed each tune and artist to the floor, all to the amazement of her classmates and teacher—and even more so to the agonizing embarrassment of her elder opponents. I’m guessing they’re being parented by men and women who’ve fallen short of the fullest measure of their duty.

“Did you struggle with any of the songs?” I asked.

“Only one,” she said. “It took me a second to remember who sang ‘She’s a Beauty.’ But then I remembered it was The Tubes.”

“That’s my girl,” I said, giving her a high-five.

It’s probably a good thing the teacher didn’t mix traditional Scottish folk songs into the challenge. All bets would’ve been off the table when Evelyn finished a three-second introduction by singing, “You’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye. Where me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”

Yeah, we’ll sing that in the car now and then. Admittedly, we had to start learning songs like “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond,” especially since AC-DC’s Angus Young breaks into lyric-less guitar solos based on such things. I mean, why only listen when you can sing along? Even better, why only sing to Loch Lomond when you can sip from its whisky, too, namely its 12-year-old Single Malt? Not Evelyn, of course, but me.

No sooner than the cork is loosed from this undervalued whisky does the one who discharged it learn he’s in for a real treat. The bottle scent is a compact tune of sweetness that opens into a chorus of sugared citrus and cookie dough. There may even be a few subtle notes of toasted coconut hovering along the way of the score.

The palate learns the whisky’s more resounding melody, becoming a hard-driving but thoroughly enjoyable tune of seared toffee, warmed almonds, vanilla cake, and sweet cream. Its finish is a medium fade of the nose’s citrus beats, one that moves its sipper to replay the track.

Perhaps one day, I’ll repeat this pleasant track with my masterful daughter, Evelyn. Until then, here’s to you, young lassie! Indeed, I bid you accept a proud father’s commendation, knowing that you are blessed among many and shall be a glorious adornment to every company you keep—just like the Loch Lomond 12-year-old Single Malt.