Bought: English Whisky Company, 28th July 2015
87.2/100 – Whiskybase (average from 7 member votes)
Mosstowie wasn’t a distillery but the name given to the output of two Lomond stills housed at the Miltonduff distillery between 1964 and 1981. The ‘Lomond’ still was invented in 1956 by Hiram Walker in an attempt to solve the demand from blenders who wanted more variety in whisky, therefore more distilleries. The neck of the Lomond still was designed to house 3 ‘rectifier plates’, which could be adjusted to alter the resulting liquid. It sounded marvellous in theory but the cleaning process of the stills was laborious and in the end there wasn’t enough demand for the output.
If you’re a collector, acquiring a bottle of Mosstowie should be a good investment. There were never any official bottlings because the resulting whisky was destined for blending. Independent bottlers such as Gordon & MacPhail, Duncan Taylor and Signatory have made releases but they are few and far between. I’m surprised that auction prices are quite reasonable but that might be because ‘Lomond’ production is still available from the Loch Lomond distillery, so the taste experiences hasn’t died out. In fact Loch Lomond whisky tends to be quite average, which may explain why output from Mosstowie wasn’t in demand and prices are relatively low even today.
Thankfully the votes on Whiskybase suggest that this particular Mosstowie 31yo is an excellent dram. Bottled 5 years ago in 2010, the level is reasonably high, although it’s hard to tell. As a collector I’m looking for a good level in the neck but this style of bottle is always filled to the shoulders. It’s difficult to tell if there’s been any evaporation but perhaps that was part of Signatory’s cunning plan when they chose the bottle shape. It’s certainly very pleasing to look at, albeit frustrating for a collector trying to detect evaporation.