I’m not sure what became of Glenglassaugh. They definitely had a nice momentum under Billy Walker, who unearthed some excellent old casks and composed a few good entry-level whiskies as well. However in the past five years I’ve only reviewed two expressions – it’s just not in the spotlight any more.
I received a set of four Glenglassaugh 2013 whiskies bottled by GlenClyde Whisky and exclusive to Whisky World, a retailer in Rīgā (Latvia). Potentially a very educational series to learn about the differences between cask types. They’re all priced around € 100 per bottle.
Glenglassaugh 8 yo 2013 – Spring (46%, Glen Clyde Whisky ‘MGAW’ 2021, Four seasons, first fill Pedro Ximénez barrique, 120 btl.)
Nose: plenty of yellow apples and ripe pears, with hints of pineapple in the background. Malty notes (dough) and wine gums. Then whiffs of brown sugar, marshmallows and ginger biscuits come out, with hints of fresh oak shavings.
Mouth: still quite bright and fruity with a malty core. There’s honey and vanilla, with golden raisins and hints of caramelised peaches. Then white pepper, orange peels and ginger comes out, as well as light herbal notes.
Finish: medium, on barley, vanilla and mild wood spice. Whiffs of sweet coffee.
Clearly youngish but certainly not unpleasant. The PX adds sweetness but leaves enough room for the fruity spirit to shine. A nice start. Available from Whisky World.
Glenglassaugh 8 yo 2013 – Summer (46%, Glen Clyde Whisky ‘MGAW’ 2021, Four seasons, first fill Port barrique, 120 btl.)
Nose: typical Port nose, albeit rather quiet. Red berries and rhubarb compote, with echoes of strawberry jam. Light cinnamon, baking bread and caramel. Hints of peonies, but also a slightly funky hint of lanolin.
Mouth: a bit unbalanced now, showing a lot of malty porridge with an alcoholic edge. Still these red berries and wine gums, but they are rather soft. Cooked apples, pear syrup and candied orange peels.
Finish: medium, with vague fruity echoes, but also a tangy hint of citrus peel and a dark hint of chocolate.
This reminds me of the early days of finishing. Say Arran, twenty years ago. I don’t find this particularly exciting, but I’ve had worse Port finishes. Available from Whisky World. Score: 80/100
Glenglassaugh 8 yo 2013 – Autumn (46%, Glen Clyde Whisky ‘MGAW’ 2021, Four seasons, first fill Madeira barrique, 120 btl.)
Nose: red apples and peaches, as well as some tart fruits, like oranges. Apple pie and hints of sultanas. I really like the fruity acidity with the underlying sweetness. Then faint leathery notes and subtle almonds. Still staying close to the spirit character, which is perfectly fine in this case.
Mouth: the sweetness moves towards bittersweet notes. Citrus peels, some leafy notes. Then hints of marmalade and chestnuts, with hints of white pepper. Drops of honey but also hints of green herbs.
Finish: medium, slightly peppery, with herbal notes and citrus.
Based on the nose alone, this would be my favourite pick of the bunch. Madeira works well alongside the innate fruitiness. On the palate it becomes a little sharper. Available from Whisky World. Score: 83/100
Glenglassaugh 8 yo 2013 – Winter (46%, Glen Clyde Whisky ‘MGAW’ 2021, Four seasons, first fill Oloroso barrique, 120 btl.)
Nose: classic butterscotch, caramel and clove. A slightly dirty edge. Then raisins, walnuts, as well as black grapes. Wine gums and some dusty wood in the background. A little thin, this could have benefited from a little more time in the Oloroso cask.
Mouth: spirity sweetness with more of this seemingly incomplete / half-done sherry finish. Pretty winey, like a red wine finish, as if the sherry itself was a little immature as well. Caramel toffee, spicy wood, roasted coffee beans and walnuts. Leafy notes. This feels a little too rough in my opinion.
Finish: quite long, spicy, but quickly getting thinner again, leaving an alcoholic edge.
All of these whiskies were young, of course, and the finishes are relatively subtle. Overall the best one for me was the PX finish which highlights the natural sweetness of the Glenglassaugh character. On the other hand this Oloroso was the only one that didn’t convince me. Available from Whisky World. Score: 79/100