What happens if a distillery was founded (1875), closed (1908), re-vamped and re-opened to be used in blends (1960), completely mothballed (1986) then opened again (2008), release into the market spirits immediately and then manages to be sold (2013)?
Welcome to Glenglassaugh’s illustrious past of operating only approx 1/3 of its history! However there is hope since BenRiach Distillery Company took over – a most respectable brand along with its other distillery GlenDronach. With Rachel Barrie more recently being added to the equation, let’s see what happens next!
However for now… we have two NAS expressions to sample – Evolution and Torfa – both bottled at a bold 50%.
What did we think?
- Nose – Initially sour curd, wet cereals, old banana, musty & dusty, soaked oats, even in the sweet there is a little sour like sour mash, a bit grassy, porridge with honey
- Palate – Dry, light spice, bitter yet sour
- Finish – Bitter
- Water – Add a dash and we were ‘rewarded’ with rotten fruit
We began to joke it was like having a great mouth disinfectant. Not something you would choose to sip but maybe swish around for the medicinal benefits.
Had we not left it alone to breath, would have overall been rather scathing with this one.
However our revisit was interesting – salty caramel, toffee & fudge – sweet and much less bitter than earlier. There was also a sharp tingle on the nose like industrial metallic. Still not great but it managed to redeem itself a little.
What do the folks over at Glenglassaugh have to say?
Glenglassaugh Evolution is created by maturing the whisky in a unique combination of the finest hand-picked ex-Tennessee first-fill whiskey barrels. This expression shows great depth of character and finesse, a harmonious combination of whisky and oak. Bottled at 50%, natural colour and non chill filtered, Evolution represents the heart of Glenglassaugh’s distinctive personality, and indeed the landscape in which it is set.
- Colour: Crisp harvest gold.
- Nose: A luscious syrupy combination of sweet barley, delicate pineapple and waves of soft buttery vanilla. Deeper oak spices and caramelised pear develop and warm the nose.
- Palate: Robust, white peppery oak floods through crisp green apple and freshly cracked barley. A gentle salted caramel emerges alongside hints of ripe banana and fruit salad syrup.
- Finish: A vibrant combination of classic oak spices and delicate soft fruits surrounded by fragrant waves of vanilla pod.
Sorry… rewind? Seriously? Were we having the same whisky?? “Depth of character and finesse”??? Had we not given it considerable time to breath, we would have missed the salty caramel… however it is hard not to be cynical reading the marketing speak.
All I can say is this – I hope for better in a few years. Much better.
What else did we try in our miniatures session?
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