Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Whisky Review: Whisky Galore Glenlossie 10 Year 1993/2004

Glenlossie is another one of Diageo's semi-anonymous malt distilleries that primarily produces for blends. While there are official Glenlossie single malts bottled in the official Flora & Fauna line, you're more likely to encounter it from an independent bottler as a bit of what gets sent off for blending ends up in their hands.

This particular whisky (cask?) was distilled in 1993, filled into what was likely a refill hogshead, then bottled in 2004 at 46% without coloring or chill filtration.

Whisky Galore Glenlossie 10 Year 1993/2004

Nose: lots of fresh malt, lightly floral, creamy vanilla, a little caramel, peach and unripe pear, solvent (ethyl acetate?), pink pencil erasers, somewhat yeast-y, barrel char but barely any oak, green spices. After adding a few drops of water the fruit moves forward and some orange notes resolve themselves, the solvent moves backward a bit, and the spices become dusty.

Taste: malty sweetness throughout with a solvent-y roundness up front, and overlay of vague fruit/berries - overall a little flat without much oak or development. After dilution the malt and fruit move forward and push the solvent into the background, more oak tannins come out giving a bittersweet finish with a touch of incense.

Finish: green malt, a little solvent, very light oak, yeast, thin fruit esters (peach, pear, apple), kind of sharp

This is a bit of a weird whisky, not quite like anything else I've ever tried. Almost certainly from fairly well-used refill casks, this is almost all spirit, but without too much of the new make character that I would expect in these circumstances. Without the solvent notes this would be a somewhat underdeveloped but otherwise pleasant whisky, but the ethyl acetate is too intrusive a lot of the time. Testing this with water makes me think that it might have been better off being bottled at 43%. The solvent is much less present after dilution and diminishing that quality, even at the cost of a little complexity, which feels like an acceptable trade-off.

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