Loch Lomond Whiskies, the Official Spirit of The Open, has unveiled a new special edition single malt to mark the Championship that was due to take place in July this year.
The Loch Lomond 12 Year Old The Open Special Edition 2020 was created to celebrate The 149th Open at Royal St George’s in Kent, which has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the first time since WWII that the Championship will not be played.
The special edition, crafted by master blender Michael Henry, showcases Loch Lomond’s unique straight neck pot still, and is created from a Chardonnay wine yeast, a fermentation process that’s rarely used in whisky distilling as it requires greater time to achieve the final liquid. Full of lively flavour, hints of grapefruit and vanilla syrup are balanced with cinnamon and lime juice.
Priced at £50 RRP with an ABV of 46%, 3,000 limited-edition bottles will be released globally in early July, giving both whisky and golf fans the opportunity to experience The Open in spirit from their homes.
Loch Lomond Whiskies’ became The Official Spirit of The Open in 2018, and although the Championship will not be played as planned in 2020, Loch Lomond’s Open Special Edition pays tribute to golf’s original championship. The 149th Open will now be played at Royal St George’s in July 2021, with The 150th Open at St Andrews moving to 2022.
Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group, said: “Of course we, like thousands of golf enthusiasts around the globe, were disappointed to learn of the cancellation of The Open this year, but given the current circumstances, it’s absolutely the right decision.
“Our Loch Lomond 12 Year Old The Open Special Edition 2020 is a very special limited edition, showcasing Loch Lomond’s style beautifully, and will allow thousands of golf and whisky fans around the world to raise a dram during these difficult, unprecedented times.
“We are very proud of our partnership with The Open, allowing us to raise awareness of the Loch Lomond Whiskies range among golf lovers all over the world. We are very much looking forward to visiting Royal St George’s for the first time as the Spirit of The Open next year.”
Michael Henry, Master Distiller added: “It has been a real pleasure crafting this limited edition to mark The 149th Open. We are one of very few distilleries currently using wine yeasts in the fermentation process, which brings a unique and vibrant flavour to the finished liquid. As a distillery we are perfectly placed to be able to develop these rare expressions, which is ideally suited to our preference for longer fermentation times, combined with the control we have over the final character using our straight-necked stills.”
Loch Lomond Whiskies, based in Alexandria near Loch Lomond, agreed a five-year partnership with The R&A, organisers of The Open, in February 2018. Known as “The One”, The Open is the most international of the major championships with qualifying events across five continents.
Neil Armit, Chief Commercial Officer at The R&A, said: “Loch Lomond Whiskies’ special edition products have already proven to be a hit with fans of The Open, bringing together two of Scotland’s greatest exports beautifully: golf and whisky.
“Although we will have to wait until next year to visit Royal St George’s, fans will still be able to enjoy a taste of The Open from home until we all meet again at the famous Kent links in 2021.”