Ah, Whisky Galore—the name takes me back. This was Duncan Taylor’s entry-level line of malts for the enthusiast back in the day. The whiskies were bottled at 46% and were generally of a pretty good quality. Some of the bottles in this line were my earliest forays into the world of independently bottled whisky and gave me the confidence to spend more money on older whiskies—some of those in Duncan Taylor’s own older lines. At some point in the the last decade and a half the Whisky Galore line was replaced by the NC2 line and all the competitively-priced older Duncan Taylor releases disappeared. The NC2 series is also now gone. The entry-level Duncan Taylor line we see in the US now is Battlehill—ubiquitous on the shelves of the Total Wine chain.
Anyway here’s a throwback review of a Whisky Galore release from an unheralded distillery. Glenlossie is another Speyside disitllery, part of Diageo’s portfolio, producing for their blends. Every distillery in Scotland is capable of producing excellent casks, however, and it’s the independents that let us see this. Let’s see if that’s the case here.
Glenlossie 10, 1993 (46%; Whisky-Galore; from a bottle split)
Nose: Grassy to start but it’s mixed with lemon, tart-sweet apple and cereals. Very pleasant indeed. Gets maltier and breadier as it goes. With time and water it’s less grassy. The cereals intensify as well and there’s a hint of milk chocolate.
Palate: Same mix as the nose but it’s sweeter here. And the breadiness is more in the rye-bread vein. With a drop or two of water it all gets a bit too thin.
Finish: Long. The bready notes yield to oak spice—rye again, pepper, a hint of clove at the end. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Simple but quite good—and really sans flaws of any kind. This would be a very pleasant summer malt, and is not bad on a cool September evening in southern Minnesota either. This is not a whisky to launch a campaign of nostalgia on but back when these Whisky Galore bottles were released they were good values and this certainly would have been so, then and now.
Rating: 82 points.