Blind Tasting #5: Glenlossie 2007 12 Years (Càrn Mòr)
Day 5 of the Blind Tasting Competition and I’m slowly moving up in the standings. The points I scored on age, region and alcohol percentage for the Glenlossie 2007 12 Years Càrn Mòr have put me on the virtual podium. Which is great, but hell, we’ve got nine more samples to go, so who knows where I end up in a week and a half.
From the first quick nosing of sample #5 it was clear the competition had taken a turn into the world of sherry maturation. (A theme that’ll be repeated the next few days by the way.) I thought it was a balanced, heavily sherried (but not too much) single malt at an average age, bottled at 46 to 48% ABV. It was the balance that made me suspect this might be an official vatting of a multitude of casks instead of the single cask or small batch independent releases we’ve seen so far.
I contemplated the Tamdhu 15 for a while, but when I put it side-by-side, it became clear it wasn’t the same whisky as my sample. I finally settled on the Tamdhu 12 as my entry, knowing full well that sample #5 was much more sherried than the Tamdhu 12 ever will be. So, I didn’t register a perfect score. That almost never happens anyway. I scored a fair few points though, because at least I was able to pinpoint characteristics such as age and ABV pretty accurately.
Most importantly though, the Glenlossie 2007 12 Years Càrn Mòr is a very good whisky. It matured in two sherry hogsheads and when it was released earlier this year, I remember thinking it would probably be over-the-top. It’s pretty rare these days to find a good value sherry-matured independent release, because too many are bottled based on colour (dark whiskies sell) instead of quality. That’s not the case here.
Glenlossie 2007 12 Years (47.5%, Càrn Mòr, 718 bts.)
Nose: Fresh red fruits, mostly berries, but also a whiff of burlap and some Maraschino cherries. Even touch of red apples and some pear skin. Finally, a whiff of floral perfume and triple sec.
Taste: Buttery, creamy mouthfeel. Just a tinge of charred oak, burnt caramel and a whiff of cough syrup, but also orange peel and cracked black pepper corns.
Finish: Touches of menthol, pepper and dark chocolate. Medium in length.
Textbook sherried single malt, with a heightened level of spiciness on the palate and a great balance. Surprisingly, still a few bottles available at the original retail price here.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.