Glenlossie nestles in the fertile Laich of Moray, just two miles from Millbuies nature reserve, and surrounded by hills and farmland. The Laich is a plain by the sea – rich, low-lying agricultural land that has been farmed for generations. It’s this proximity to the sea which lends Glenlossie a little of the coastal malt to its Speyside character, with a hint of smoke on the nose. Glenlossie distillery was the dream of local publican John Duff, who sketched the plans and worked with a local architect by the name of MacKenzie to make it a reality in 1876. Duff used the 70 foot drop from a nearby dam to drive a wheel which in turn powered the machinery, making Glenlossie, Duff and his local investors independent of steam power. The distillery changed hands over the years, and eventually moved from water to steam, and during the 1960 refurbishment, electricity. Though the wheel and the hand-fired stills may have gone, the independent spirit of Duff remains in this distinct Speyside malt.
The first impression you will get from the aroma of Glenlossie 10 Year Old is vinous, like a well-used cocktail cabinet. Through this comes a light sponge-like aroma, followed by fruity notes (fresh plums, kiwi-fruit). Then the nose closes somewhat, with a promise of peardrops. With water, the reduced nose is estery, solvent-like and fruity - a fruit salad including oranges, apples, plums and pears. There is a hint of coconut milk and a fugitive scent of sweet tobacco. If more water is added, the nose becomes mossier, with a whiff of matchboxes (the sandpaper striker on a matchbox, to be precise). The last might indicate a thread of smoke. This is a medium bodied whisky. The flavours are sweet with a good balance of primary tastes and some pleasant acidity. If more water is added, there is a very slight hint of smoke. The finish is dryish, with some light chocolate notes and a light, malty aftertaste.
This is a fine example of a 'Top Class' Speyside but beware - its delicate characteristics are easily swamped. As a light whisky with just a whiff of smoke, Glenlossie works well with the gentle cocoa bitter-ness of a chocolate truffle or even a creme brulee, with it's creamy, melt-in-the-mouth flavours.