Eight-time European Tour Number 1 Colin Montgomerie has agreed a high-profile partnership with Loch Lomond Whiskies “The Spirit of The Open.” Fergus Bisset travelled to Alexandria to find out more.

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As a keen golfer with a special aptitude for playing the 19th hole, Scotland is to me, a paradise. Not only are we blessed with many of the finest golf courses in the world, but we can also boast a national drink of tremendous complexity and international renown…. No, not the stuff made from girders… I’m talking, of course, about whisky. The water of life and golf are, perhaps, Scotland’s greatest and most cherished exports – they are certainly my two favourites.

It was then with much excitement that I accepted an invitation to visit the distillery of Loch Lomond Whiskies in Alexandria at the southern end of Loch Lomond and to spend the day with a Scottish golfing legend – Colin Montgomerie, who has recently agreed a partnership with Loch Lomond Whiskies to promote the brand’s range of award-winning single malts across the globe.

There will be more to come on my day, sipping single malts with Monty in The Open issue of Golf Monthly but let me give you a brief synopsis:

We met at the Loch Lomond Whiskies distillery in Alexandria where we enjoyed a fascinating tour of the premises and discovered more about the unique nature of the manufacture of Loch Lomond’s diverse range of whiskies. The method is intricate and scientific, and we saw the precise nature of every step of the process, from fermentation to distillation to maturation. I won’t go into details here but, suffice to say, Loch Lomond does a few things a little differently to other distilleries I have visited and that allows them great scope for variance in notes and flavourings through distillation as well as during the maturation period.

We then had a brilliant round-table discussion with Monty that lasted over an hour, in which we chatted on whisky (of course) and his excitement at being involved with Loch Lomond Whiskies. The company is producing two “limited editions” to mark The 147th Open at Carnoustie, as well as a “Single Cask” edition that will carry Monty’s name. Later in the year, a “Colin Montgomerie” limited edition single malt will also be released.

Monty then spoke: on The Open, “Seen as the world event in golf,” Carnoustie, “Not one of the toughest links…. THE toughest links,” his battle with Tiger in the 2005 Open, “To witness him playing at the top of his game was an incredible experience. He was just a little different,” Tiger today, “I can see him winning again,” and the Ryder Cup, “Europe might be slight favourites.” …. All that to come in our Open issue.

Then we headed for a wonderful lunch at the Luss Seafood Bar and a boat trip onto the loch for a whisky tasting. All of us enjoyed sampling a selection of Loch Lomond’s characterful range of 12-year-old malts plus the rich and full 18-year-old… Again, more of that in the Open issue.

It was a great day and brilliant to learn about a Scottish brand with such great passion and an ambition to use golf, and golf’s greatest championship, plus a superb ambassador in Monty, to expand its reach across the globe. I’m excited to have been there at the start of this journey and will watch it unfold with interest – As I say, check out more in our Open issue…