Scotch Whisky Review #178: SMWS 46.69 “Ruby boozeday” Glenlossie 20 Year (1998)
Cask Type: 19 years in refill bourbon hogshead, finished in 2nd fill charred red wine barrique
ABV: 55.4%, Cask Strength.
Age: 20 Year. Distilled in 1998
Color: 0.9, Amontillado Sherry. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.
Nose: (according to the wife) There’s not a whole lot going on, just a bit of caramel with some oak and pepper.
Palate: It’s a lot hotter than it should be, it’s got an intense youthful heat to it that’s borderline unpleasant. After a lot of water, it starts to calm down and becomes drinkable. It’s fairly neutral with a bit of malt and a bit of caramel. Nothing really to write home about.
Finish: Fairly short but within that short span, it’s like you’re visiting the spice aisle. There’s peppers, cloves, cinnamon, and a really refreshing mint note all packed into a few seconds. With water, that mint note comes out even stronger.
Conclusion: If you ever needed an example of “older doesn’t mean better” with whisky, I think this might be a good one. After 20 years in casks, there are a few things you might expect such as a more mellow and easy to drink profile or perhaps a little more complexity. This whisky has neither. It drinks like a fire-y young whisky with an incredible, nearly unpleasant amount of heat. After you water it down to a bearable temperature, it seems to be fairly generic and nothing to write home about. I was hoping to get some interesting notes from the red wine casks but I can’t say there’s anything out of the ordinary with this whisky. The mint note in the finish is pretty refreshing though and I can imagine drinking this over ice on a hot summer day to be fairly nice. Would I buy a bottle? No.
Final Score: 72.
Scotch Whisky Review #178, Speyside Whisky Review #74, Whisky Network Review #244
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.