Whilst exploring the Refectory Bar and its menu at the Plymouth Gin Distillery this month, David & I were told about an apparently scrumptious whisky liqueur. It was made all the more tempting by the fact that we were quickly told that it wasn’t available to buy, despite there being a bottle in a cupboard just a few feet away.
Later on the same day, whilst chatting with the lovely ladies in the Plymouth Distillery shop, we mentioned this mystery liqueur and, following a little problem solving, we established that it was less elusive than initially thought; as a matter of fact, there was a bottle behind us in a display cabinet. We returned the next day to pick up a bottle and reveal a little of this unearthed non-mystery to you all in the first of what will hopefully be many small notes on whiskies and their liqueurs by myself (Mrs B).
Sold in a squat and square dark glass bottle with a beautiful pale golden label, Lochan Ora (produced by Chivas Brothers’) looks majestic and romantic; it even has a golden crown on the lid, which reminded me of the Boodles Gin bottle. Due to its size, it was initially hard to believe that it contained 70cl, but I am very pleased that it does.
It smelt strongly of sweet orange peel; David mentioned candied peel, which I thought captured the scent perfectly. When I tasted it, I was hit by a strong, but not unexpected or overpowering, bout of sweetness, followed by a hint of alcohol, which swiftly transformed into an orange flavour. It all finished neatly with the long, slow-developing warmth of a Scotch whisky. There were some lovely light herbal notes, too, which, together with the warmth of the whisky, made this one of the most comforting liqueurs I’ve ever tasted.
It was delicious and reminded me of Yuletide evenings spent sitting by a warm fire – my mind recalls Mr. Smith’s first batch of mincemeat liqueur, which quickly disappeared! Lochan Ora’s level of sweetness is spot-on, (unusual, as I find many liqueurs too sweet) which meant that I would probably save it for a post-meal sipper when a dessert might be too much.
It’s a terrible shame that they might not be producing this any more, so I warmly recommend it to anyone who can find it.
– Mrs. B
For more Whisk(e)y Liqueur Reviews see the other Whispers of Whisk(e)y