Even though we didn’t go there in November, when we were staying in the north of the Speyside, I did happen to find myself with a sample of the then available Hand Bottled whisky. A good whisky buddy of mine brought it over from his trip in the same period.
While Glenglassaugh is both and old and a new distillery, their new whisky is still very young and the bigger releases have failed to impress me. It’s been ages since I tried some of the older bottlings from before 1984. They were rather affordable some years ago but prices have skyrocketed for the Eastern Highlands distillery.
When my buddy told me I could get a sample of a new Glenglassaugh I wasn’t immediately excited, but I know he knows his whisky (he’s got a massive Longmorn collection, focusing heavily on the sixties and seventies) it made me trust his judgement.
Very sharp on the nose. Ridiculously big on the fruit. Dried, mostly. Peaches, plums, dates. All quite familiar, but in an interesting way. Lots of tannic oak influence too, with some white grapes and granny smith if you take a bigger sniff. Carmel apple, with slightly burnt caramel.
The palate is very thick and sweet, very caramel like. But also there are huge notes of oak and rather hot alcohol. Carmel apple, but mostly focus on the caramel. Very sweet with milk chocolate and mocha. After a few seconds a hit of chili pepper sets in, and then it gets dry.
The finish shows the youth of the whisky best. The rich spirit comes through more than before, but the caramel, date and plum notes are still huge. The oak manifests as dryness and some tannins.
This is a weird dram. The flavors are quite mature on one end, but the spirit and untamedness of the oak comes through in a big way too. The fruit is incredible, and I wouldn’t mind trying more of this than just a sample.
If you don’t like whiskies that taste hot, stay away from this one. The alcohol makes itself known and the young age at which this was bottles doesn’t mellow it out either. It surprising that this comes from a Hogshead and not some quarter cask or anything a lot smaller than 250 liters.
Hugely interesting, and very delicious. There’s a lot more flavor than I expected there to be and it’s all delicious.
Glenglassaugh 05/03/2009 – 2015, Oloroso Sherry Hogshead, 58.1%, Hand bottled at the distillery. It went for € 55 but it might not be available anymore.