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Glenlossie

Glenlossie

Despise the fact that the majority of Glenlossie (pronounced: glen-LOSS-ee) goes in blends and rarely sees the light of day in official bottlings it has developed something of a following based on fondness/compulsive curiosity. It has a distillate that can be fantastic and very distinctive but can unexpectedly and often stray into very strange territories. What’s for sure is that Glenlossie may not be the most consistent spirit but it is one of these distilleries that is never boring. And that’s definitely something to celebrate in this day and age.

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Glenlossie Distillery

Founded: 1876
Stills: 3 Wash 3 Spirit
Water Source: Bardon Burn
Capacity: 2.1 Million Litres
Owners: Diageo

1962-1975: Expansion And The Fruit Era

Glenlossie was expanded and 'updated' in 1962 with another pair of stills added bringing the total to six. The best bottlings of Glenlossie hail from this era up until about the mid seventies. The spirit stills at Glenlossie are equipped with purifiers, small copper bulbs that hang underneath the lyne arms, capture the denser elements of the evaporating distillate and return them to the bottom of the still. This means that the whisky is closer to 2.5 times distilled and often accentuates the fruity aspects. This process seems to work exceptionally well at Glenlossie as it has always been a light and fruit heavy style of malt, excellent at ageing and often very expressive.

Aged Glenlossie from these years can be excessively fruity and honied with lots of muesli, yeasty notes, biscuits, mead, cereals and wax. Ones bottled at a younger age, like many of the old G&M CC bottlings, display more vibrant, youthful fruit qualities, biting citrus and overt waxy minerality. The best aged examples from these early years are a pair of 1975s, one by Berry Bros and another by The Whisky Agency, both are classically fruity and engaging malts, not quite like many of the other excellent Speysiders of this era, more austere and grassy but yet still somehow lush and fruity. Even better is an amazing 1966 40yo by Adelphi and a truly old school 1957 21yo by Cadenhead’s that gives us a smokier and oilier face of pre expansion Glenlossie.

1975-Present: Porridge, Kiwis and Pears.

Glenlossie at a younger age from the year since the mid seventies can be a much trickier affair. At its best it is full of soft pear and kiwi notes with lots of cereal, faint oiliness and interesting notes of yoghurt, milk and herbs. At the other end of the spectrum it can be very flower or full of white fruits, with excessive notes of porridge, some cardboard, pine resin, nail varnish, olive oil and vanilla sweetness. Much of this imbalance of certainty is down to the fact that to shine as a single malt, Glenlossie, like most softer Speysiders, needs quite a bit of age. Glenlossie is rarely bad it can just be sometimes a little weird, however for many this is part of this great distillery’s charm.

Good bottlings from recent years have been done my Jack Weiber, Exclusive Malts, SMWS and Duncan Taylor. The official 10yo Flaura & Fauna is also an ever dependable introductory rung on the Glenlossie ladder.

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