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Whisky Tasting Debrief: Glenglassaugh


This whisky tasting event was held here at The Clydeside Distillery on 22nd February 2019 and was hosted by Matt Chambers, the Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador for Brown-Forman.

The six single malt drams were selected to show off what Glenglassaugh has to offer. We tasted the three core range malts - Evolution, Revival and Torfa - plus two limited editions, the Octaves Batch 2 Classic and Peated expressions. We finished with a very special dram of the rare Glenglassaugh 40yo.


The core range sees Glenglassaugh's light and delicate spirit taken in three different directions. Evolution best shows the delicacy and vibrancy of the spirit and has been matured in ex-Tennessee whisky casks, while Revival goes in a richer and sweeter direction following maturation in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-red wine and ex-sherry casks.

Torfa (which is the old Norse word for 'peat') is the peaty and smoky offering, and is only produced for short periods at the distillery each year.

The two Octaves were released late last year and one is in the classic Glenglassaugh style and the other in the peated style. They have been matured in very small 65 litre casks and these offer a far higher rate of wood contact for the spirit than a traditional cask. This creates a richer, spicier and woodier profile.

The 40yo shows the style of Glenglassaugh from before it was closed in the mid-1980s and how well the spirit matures in cask to this age in its coastal environment. This was distilled in the mid-1970s and currently fetches over £1200 per bottle (if you can find one), and was a real treat for the end of the tasting.


Close-up of Glenglassaugh CasksGlenglassaugh Distillery by Markus Trienke

Glenglassaugh is one of Scotland's few true coastal distilleries. It sits on the North Sea coast of Aberdeenshire, near the village of Portsoy, and was founded in 1875. A few original buildings remain, alongside more modern buildings (including the distillery itself) which date from a major renovation in the 1960s. Its recent history is a little chequered and features a long period of closure between 1986 and 2008 when it was renovated and production restarted.

Glenglassaugh has big, tall stills that are among some of the tallest in Scotland and these produce a light and delicate spirit with a freshness and vibrancy to it. This is then filled to cask and matured on site, therefore exposed to the elements of its coastal environment.

It is a small distillery in comparison to others in Scotland and produces around 500,000 litres per year.


Our next whisky tasting will be with BenRiach and will take place at The Clydeside Distillery on Thursday 21st March 2019 at 7 pm until 8.30 pm.