The Robb Report: "Glenglassaugh may not be the most familiar name in the world of single malt scotch. But that might be set to change with the release of this new whisky that was aged for nearly half a century in the warehouses of this bucolic distillery located on the rugged coast of northeastern Scotland.
Glenglassaugh is located on Sandend Bay, and the still house opens out to a beautiful view of the ocean and beach located just below. The distillery first opened in 1875, but remained a relatively small force in the large world of scotch whisky over the years, with the majority of its output going into blends. In 1986, it was shut down and remained closed until the Scaent Group purchased it in 2008 and restarted production a year later. Then in 2013, the BenRiach Distillery Company acquired Glenglassaugh, and in 2016 Brown-Forman bought the entire operation which also included Benriach and The Glendronach. Brown-Forman is the parent company of Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve, among many other brands, so this underappreciated distillery seems set for yet another revival.
Master blender Rachel Barrie oversees production and blending at Glenglassaugh and the other two distilleries, and she selected just one cask for this new release. Glenglassaugh 46 was distilled in 1975, about a decade prior to the distillery being mothballed, and spent all of its time maturing in one bourbon barrel. “It’s impossible to separate Glenglassaugh the whisky from Glenglassaugh the place,” said Barrie in a statement. “The lush sweetness of this coastal single malt is a complete distillation of its natural surroundings. Its whole essence is created by both the visible and invisible influences of land, sea, air and spring water.”
That’s a lovely and poetic way to describe the whisky and its environs, but how does it actually taste? Barrie also provided the following notes (also pretty whimsical): “On the nose, luscious mango, plum, cherry and black currant unite with polished oak and red grape to bring a seductive aroma of ambergris, while the palate presents an exquisite overture of the rolling coastal waves of tropical fruit, cherry, black currant and mango on a breeze of cooling menthol and grapefruit.” Ambergris, by the way, is a waxy substance produced by sperm whales, so don’t beat yourself up if that tasting note is not exactly a familiar one."