Spirited Comeback: the Glenglassaugh Seaside Saga and Quirky Whisky Revival
Nestled along the scenic Sandend Bay, Glenglassaugh may not command instant recognition in the expansive realm of single malt Scotch. The distillery, with its still house opening to a captivating view of the ocean and beach below, unfolded its story in 1875. Despite a modest presence in the world of Scotch whisky, with the majority of its production finding its way into blends, Glenglassaugh encountered a hiatus in 1986. It lay dormant until 2008 when the Scaent Group revived it, and a year later, production recommenced. The narrative took a new turn in 2013 when the BenRiach Distillery Company acquired Glenglassaugh, eventually leading to its assimilation into the Brown-Forman portfolio in 2016, alongside Benriach and The Glendronach.
Master blender Rachel Barrie chooses the Glenglassaugh 46
In the shadows of the parent company, Brown-Forman, a formidable player in the spirits realm with brands like Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve, Glenglassaugh stands poised for another chapter of rejuvenation. At the helm of this underappreciated distillery’s revival is Master Blender Rachel Barrie, overseeing production and blending not only at Glenglassaugh but also at the other two distilleries under the Brown-Forman umbrella.
One remarkable expression arising from Barrie’s discerning curation is the Glenglassaugh 46, a product of the year 1975, a decade preceding the distillery’s mothballing. This single malt matured exclusively in a bourbon barrel, reflecting the essence of its coastal surroundings. Barrie aptly captures the intertwining influences of land, sea, air, and spring water, emphasizing that the whisky is a distillation of its natural habitat.
Relaunch of Glenglassaugh whisky
Recently, Glenglassaugh declared a comprehensive relaunch of its core whisky portfolio, accompanied by a fresh bottle design. The revamped lineup features three expressions: 12 Year Old, Portsoy, and Sandend. Rachel Barrie articulates the essence of the new portfolio, noting that it encapsulates the key elements of Glenglassaugh’s spirit, drawing inspiration from its unique coastal locale. The expressions aim to transport enthusiasts to a place where the spirit awakens and the soul is invigorated, urging a pause to appreciate the surroundings.
Introduced in June, the whiskies made their debut in the United Kingdom before crossing the Atlantic to launch in the United States. Among the offerings, Glenglassaugh’s flagship 12 Year Old Single Malt takes center stage, embodying the distillery’s signature style. Aged in a blend of bourbon, sherry, and red wine casks, the 45%-ABV whisky boasts a suggested retail price of $65.
Glenglassaugh 12 Year old whisky
For those curious about the tasting experience, Glenglassaugh 12 Year offers a sensory journey with sweet waves of ripe apricot and fig on the nose, mingling with toasted vanilla and tropical floral notes. On the palate, candied pistachio, date, and sweet fig intertwine with morello cherry, whipped cream, and the invigorating essence of sea air. These tasting notes provide a glimpse into the coastal symphony that defines Glenglassaugh’s core portfolio, a testament to its enduring legacy in the ever-evolving landscape of single malt Scotch.
About Glenglassaugh Distillery
There’s a place where the land meets the sea. Where the senses are awakened and sweet air mingles with a crack of sea salt. Where flavours ride the waves of sea and air. Until they come to rest, in a place of perfect harmony.
A taste of Glenglassaugh is a pull to the lush shores of Sandend Bay. Where, in curving copper stills and dark casks of oak, a coastal single malt is born. Softly rolling surf sweeps across a scattering of ancient harbour towns here, while dolphins play, gannets dive, and spirits are renewed by the joy of life at a gentler pace.
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