Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Drink of the Week: the Lost Distillery Lossit whisky

Few spirits rival the romanticism of Scotch whisky. Dramatic seaside landscapes and time-worn distilleries are as much a part of the drinking experience as the complex, challenging whisky in the glass. Scotch always has a story.

The Lost Distillery Company, located in Kilmarnock, Scotland, produces a line of blended whiskies meant to represent modern interpretations of single malts that would have been produced at various defunct distilleries across the country.

I tried the company's Lossit expression, based on the Lossit distillery in Islay, a small island off Scotland's west coast that produces some of the country's most respected malts. Lossit opened in 1817 and was Islay's top whisky producer for much of its history, closing in 1867.

Getting your hands on whisky from the original Lossit distillery might be impossible. But the Lost Distillery has dug into historical records, analyzing the variables that would have gone into Lossit's whisky — production techniques of the time, ingredients local to the area (water, yeast, barley, peat), types and size of the equipment used in the original distillery, wood and so on — to create a modern rendition of what Lossit might be producing were it still here today.

The whisky itself is not dissimilar to other Islay malts and blended malts on the market currently, but at a price point of just more than $40 a bottle, it's a serious contender for repeat purchases. It's firmly on the smoky/phenolic end of the spectrum, with its intense peat character balanced by a subtle underlying sweetness. There's a light nuttiness and a hint of black pepper. Despite the intense smokiness, Lossit is relatively light-bodied and finishes clean.

While Lossit won't be unfamiliar taste territory for experienced scotch drinkers, its process is unquestionably compelling. It reminds me of German gose — a beer style that had gone extinct and had to be re-created from old production notes and oral accounts from elderly drinkers who still remembered what it tasted like.

The Lost Distillery didn't have the advantage of using taste panels of original Lossit drinkers, so there's no way to know how this whisky stacks up against its 200-year-old predecessor. But part of the fun of scotch is the romantic images it evokes. What better way to get your imagination going than to picture a tiny, 19th century Islay distillery as you sip the Lost Distillery's best re-creation of what Lossit would have tasted like?

Justin Grant, Times correspondent

Comments
Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Lavender is almost as pretty to smell as it is to look at, but as far as taste goes, the results aren’t always as appealing. A little like cilantro, lavender can taste soapy to some people, making it a tricky plant to use properly. But, when used the...
Published: 05/22/18
I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

One of my 2018 cooking resolutions was to cook at least 10 things this year that I never have before. Somewhere near the top of my list was short ribs. You can hardly eat at a restaurant now without seeing short rib in some form on the menu: braised,...
Published: 05/22/18
Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

My addiction to sugar began as a child. I loved sugary breakfast cereals as a morning meal or an evening snack, the sweeter the better. We used to joke in my house that I even added table sugar to Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. Thankfu...
Published: 05/21/18
Restaurant review: Baytenders Oyster Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

Restaurant review: Baytenders Oyster Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

ST. PETERSBURG Brian Storman has had a long and colorful career in the Tampa Bay area. In the 1980s he had the insanely popular Storman’s Palace in Feather Sound, which in 2008 became the grownup playground "ultralounge" called the Venue (25,0...
Published: 05/21/18
Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

A Sarasota seafood fixture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.Walt’s Fish Market, Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 4144 S Tamiami Trail, will host a party at noon on Sunday complete with a mechanical shark, live music, live auctions, silent auctions, an al...
Published: 05/18/18
Oldsmar ice cream shop opens right in time for summer

Oldsmar ice cream shop opens right in time for summer

Ice Cream Theory, a new ice cream shop in Oldsmar, offers cool and tasty treats to help beat the summer heat."We wanted it to be fun," said co-owner Jessica Weintraub. "We wanted it to be a place for kids to just hang out and enjoy some ice cream."Hu...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Terra Gaucha opens on Dale Mabry

Terra Gaucha opens on Dale Mabry

A new Brazilian style steakhouse is now open in South Tampa and upholds the traditional Southern Brazilian barbecue "churrascaria" dining experience- Gauchos (Southern Brazilian cowboys) roasting large pieces of skewered meats over an open flame.Terr...
Published: 05/17/18
McDonald’s giving away free food to military members today

McDonald’s giving away free food to military members today

TAMPA— All current and former military service members in central Florida can stop by their local McDonald’s and grab a free burger today.In celebration of Military Appreciation Month, McDonald’s is giving away a "Taste of Thanks." All veterans and c...
Published: 05/17/18
tbt* local craft beer of the week: PB and J Brown Ale, Palm Harbor Brewery

tbt* local craft beer of the week: PB and J Brown Ale, Palm Harbor Brewery

There’s a decent chance you’ve never had a beer from Palm Harbor Brewery. Its tiny taproom can seat no more than half a dozen folks at the bar, and that includes guests coming for wine from the brewery’s on-site sister business, Two Lions Winery. You...
Published: 05/17/18
Bar review: Champagne, whiskey and caviar? Yes, please, at luxe Flute and Dram

Bar review: Champagne, whiskey and caviar? Yes, please, at luxe Flute and Dram

I have a rocky relationship with Champagne.If I could drink it every day, there’s a good chance I would. But I can’t often stomach the thought of paying more for a name than the product itself, which, as a non-expert, has been my experience. I’ve had...
Published: 05/17/18