Lochlea First Release 46%

Nose: As a kid, when I visited my grandmother in Paris, I had a passionate fondness for pain au raisin. Each morning I’d walk to the corner bakery for a warm pinwheel of that flakey dough, shining with transparent glaze, topped with soft raisins and filled with creme de patisserie. I’ve always wished they did it with other fruit, specifically apricot jam. But this isn’t just creamy sweetness. There is the thumbprint of tart green grape. And while it mostly faded after a nice sit, the astringence of young spirit.

Palate: huh. Not quite what I expected from the nose at all. Sawdust. Carrots roasted on a charcoal grill with a touch of szechuan peppercorn oil. Old marzipan, still interesting but slightly stale. Dash of cinnamon and orange honey.

Rating: 5 / 10 – Not a bad showing for a 3 year work in progress. I’ve had much worse, and a few better. The spiciness mixed with the fruit is a fun pairing. I like it enough that I will keep a close eye as the spirit evolves. But I will not be opening my second bottle as just a drinker.