Glenglassaugh Peated Virgin Oak Finish – Tasting Notes
46% ABV. This peated Single Malt whisky was matured in first-fill American oak casks and finished for 2 years in virgin American oak. This is the first “cask finish” release from the Highland Glenglassaugh distillery.
45% ABV and aged for “at least one year”. The mash bill for this unusual bottling is 70% New York sourced corn (from Lakeview Organic Grain) and equal parts peated and unpeated British barley. It is also award winning: San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016 – Double Gold. American Distilling Institute (ADI) Craft Spirit Awards 2016 – Silver.
Nose: Sweet vanilla, orange peels and a light smoke – like a subtle honey barbecue sauce. Also softer notes of red grapes, dry hay and light leather.
Palate: Initially oranges and burnt sugar, followed by grilled pineapple. Hints of vanilla and tobacco and a touch of aniseed. Salted pretzels.
Finish: Dry smoke and spices: chilli, black pepper, cinnamon and aniseed. Slightly maritime.
Overall: An interesting mash bill, resulting in a sweet, spicy and lightly smoked dram. It could use a couple more years in the barrel to balance the flavours in my opinion, but you can’t deny that peat and bourbon make a delicious combination. The only thing that is stopping me from buying a bottle is the price.
Nose: A big hit of red grapes and a subtle raspberry. Sweet marmalade, Victoria sponge cake topped with icing sugar. nutty milk chocolate, honeycomb and a little earthiness from chives.
Palate: Orange citrus from blood oranges, crunchy honeycomb, stewed plums, custard cream biscuits and a light earthy spice of cloves.
Finish: More blood oranges and stewed plums, with ground ginger and a peppery spice. A long lasting light smokiness.
Overall: I’ve revisited this dram a couple of times (see here & here), with slightly different notes each time. What is consistent, however, is the red grapes, honeycomb, and orange zest. This is a fruity and affordable dram for whisky lovers and novices alike.
Bottled at 52.8% ABV, this no age statement whisky was finished in a single 2004 Chardonnay wine cask, and only 312 bottles exist. Proceeds from this dram go towards Hearts & Balls charity, which offers support to rugby players following catastrophic injuries on the field.
Nose: Lemon peels and green apple skins. The sweetness of white cane sugar and light honey. Vanilla pods. Brandy cream. Some floral notes.
Palate: Decadent. Creamy coffee and milk chocolate with raisins. Lemon cheesecake with caramel sauce. Fresh melon.
Finish: The creamy coffee from the palate follows through, with the additional spiciness of fresh ginger and liquorice and the sweetness of sultanas.
Overall: This experimental project is a huge success and has produced an interesting whisky which balances the flavours of the malt and of the cask perfectly. The price tag is also very reasonable, in my opinion.