Croftengea 15 Years Old M.Wigman They Inspired Edition No.4 Catherine the Great 49.3% 2005

€ 94,50 (ex Vat)
114,35 (in Vat)
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(max. 3)
Distillery Loch Lomond
Bottler Michiel Wigman
Serie They Inspired Catherine the Great
Bottled for
Distilled date 02.2005
Bottling date 03.2020
Country Scotland
Region Highlands
Age 15
Cask Type
Cask Number
Alcohol percentage 49.3
Volume 0,70
Condition Perfect
Label Perfect
Stock 3

Professional reviews

Malt Fascination (88)

Michiel Wigman, for those of you that don’t know the man, is a very famous Dutch whisky collector. He’s been one of the founders of ‘Dutch Whisky Connection‘ and is lovingly known as ‘Mr. Springbank’ to whisky fanatics across the globe.

If you’ve ever been to a whisky festival in The Netherlands or Germany, you’ve probably seen his stand filled to the brim with the mose fantastic old bottles, varying from a few Euro per centiliter, to sometimes five tenners for a drop of liquid gold.

Every time my and my in-laws go the the Hielander Whisky Festival in Alkmaar, we always agree to ‘end up’ at his stand. However, over the years, ending up has changed from ‘the last half hour’ to at least an hour and a half.

Anyway, it’s safe to say I know to trust the man and his palate. Only one dram of the dozens and dozens I’ve bought from him was disappointing (an Old Guns blend from the 1970s).

One thing changed in early 2020, though: There suddenly were bottlings of casks selected by Michiel Wigman. Of course, I had already spent all my money on random stuff I now don’t even remember, so it had to be a bottle-share. By the time I had arranged that, the ‘Secret Highland’ had sold out and I only got a sizeable share of the Teaninich 19.

I didn’t want to miss out on future releases, so I signed up for the participation programme, and last week two new bottles were delivered: A ‘Secret Speyside’ from 1993, and this 15 year old Croftengea. Peated Loch Lomond, from someone like Michiel Wigman. It’s short to say I was surprised. My experiences with anything from Loch Lomond (except a few Inchmurrins, also bottled by friends) has been quite the let down. Often the spirit is watery without much flavor to it.

And now, the man with, maybe, the palate I respect most, selects a cask from exactly that distillery. Might my prejudice be wrong?

The peat is very timid for a 15 year old, heavily peated whisky, with mostly earthy aromas. Briny, dried sea weed, a beach bonfire. There’s a hint of goat’s cheese, some unfamiliar spiciness and star fruit. Rather crisp, with hay and menthol.

The palate is gentle, and sits just under 50% (my sweet spot, I think). There’s a hint of vanilla, with earthy peat and some coastal flavors behind it. A slightly cheese like flavor again, not unlike pecorino. That sharpness, with quite a lot of salinity. Eel grass, sand. Quite beach-y.

The finish is slightly more highland like, with more oak and more fiery peat. Bonfire and a hint of charcoal. Barley ears, white oak and nice, salty smoke.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but I think this is a whisky that tastes a bit more mature than I expected. It’s not unlike 18-ish year old Talisker in style, and since that’s something I quite like, I’m a happy camper.

It’s quite complex, with the combination of coastal style with highland influences (or the other way around). Very enjoyable indeed! And a good pick by Mr. Wigman!

I’m very much looking forward to what’s to come!

BOW (88)

In the world of rare and inspired whiskies, the Croftengea 15 Years Old M. Wigman They Inspired Edition No.4, aptly named "Catherine the Great," emerges as a masterpiece that transcends traditional boundaries. Distilled in February 2005 at the illustrious Loch Lomond Distillery and bottled in March 2020 by the skilled hands of Dutch independent bottler Michiel Wigman, this expression is a testament to the harmonious collaboration between craftsmanship and artistic vision.

The Loch Lomond Distillery, nestled in the heart of Scotland, is renowned for its versatile approach to whisky production. Croftengea, one of the distillery's lesser-known gems, showcases a peaty and robust character that has captured the attention of enthusiasts seeking something extraordinary.

Michiel Wigman, a distinguished Dutch independent bottler, has carved a niche for himself in the world of whisky curation. The "They Inspired" Edition No.4 pays homage to historical figures, and in this instance, the focus is on Catherine the Great, a trailblazing Empress of Russia known for her cultural contributions and leadership.

Bottled at a thoughtful 49.3% alcohol by volume, this Croftengea expression invites exploration with its intriguing profile. The 15 years of maturation have allowed the whisky to evolve, absorbing the essence of the cask and the Loch Lomond terroir.

Adding an extra layer of artistic allure, the label design is crafted by the renowned Dutch painter Hans Dillesse. Dillesse's expertise in visual storytelling brings Catherine the Great's legacy to life on the label, creating a visual narrative that complements the sensory journey within the bottle.

Upon nosing the glass, the Croftengea Catherine the Great Edition reveals a peaty symphony intertwined with subtle sweetness. The aroma is a delicate dance of smoky notes, dried fruits, and a touch of oak, setting the stage for a multi-faceted tasting experience.

On the palate, the whisky unfolds with complexity and grace. The peat smoke is accompanied by layers of flavor, including hints of honey, citrus, and a gentle maritime influence. The 15 years of maturation contribute to a well-rounded and sophisticated taste profile, capturing the essence of Loch Lomond's craftsmanship.

The finish is a lingering ode to Catherine the Great, with the warmth of the whisky leaving an enduring impression. The marriage of peat, sweetness, and the artistic expression on the label creates a holistic experience that resonates long after the last sip.

In conclusion, the Croftengea 15 Years Old M. Wigman They Inspired Edition No.4, Catherine the Great, is more than a whisky; it's a fusion of history, art, and craftsmanship. Michiel Wigman's meticulous selection, coupled with Hans Dillesse's visual narrative, elevates this expression to a realm where every aspect contributes to the overall experience. Whether you are a whisky connoisseur, an art enthusiast, or someone seeking a unique journey in a bottle, Catherine the Great beckons you to savor the richness within. Cheers to Loch Lomond, Michiel Wigman, and the inspired legacy captured in this exceptional Croftengea expression!

Angus McRaild (88)

Tasting Notes Courtesy of Angus MacRailds, points by BOW:

Colour: white wine

Nose: the earthiness of the farmyard mingling with softer notes of wet chalk, freshly laundered fabrics, ink, wool and carbon paper. Also some lemon-scented goat cheese and more mineral aspects such as bath salts and crushed seashells. It also gets rather petrolic and displays a rising, grassy smokiness over time. Water shifts things towards brine, lemon juice, oyster sauce and things like smoked olive oil.

Palate: bags of ointment, mineral oils, pickling juices, natural tar, antiseptic and these rather Mezcal-esque touches that manifest as earthy medicines and a sort of greasy herbaceous aspect. Wonderfully green, lively, smoky and medical with some pure seawater in the mix. Water brings us full circle back this very particular earthy farmyard quality from the initial nose. Lots of sooty, muddy, earthy, peppery and oily fatness in the mouth. A wonderfully textural dram.

Finish: The peat lingers for a long time leaving in its wake a lot of medical qualities, green pepper, brine and a gentle, rather crisp smokiness.

Comments: A slightly schizophrenic wee peat monster that would have you feeling at times that you’re wandering farmlands in heart of the highlands, then the next moment on the south shore of Islay, until you wind up in a particular aromatic hospital corridor. Diverse and extremely fun while also being deceptively complex.

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