Glenglassaugh is the latest baby project of Billy Walker. The Benriach group purchased the distillery in 2013 from the previous owners (who restarted the distillery in 2008 after it was mothballed for 20 years) and if we have learned anything from past experience, Billy Walker knows his stuff.
BenRiach and Glendronach both excels with billy at the helm as evidenced by the growing list of awards, medals and positive reviews for the whiskies they released in the last few years. Can we expect the same from Glenglassaugh?
In the last few years, we had a few releases of bottlings from the old stock before it was mothballed in 1986, among them the 40 yo and a series of single cask releases (a-la Benriach/Glendronach), but there were also new releases with whisky distilled post 2008 when it started production again.
Torfa is the first peated whisky from Glenglassaugh with 20ppm and it was matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Can we expect more magic from Billy Walker here?
Glenglassaugh Torfa (50%, £39.95)
Nose: Clean peat (very Benriach-y if you ask me) yet sweet and earthy, vanilla pudding, peat is almost MIA after a while in the glass and the sweeter fruity side is showing up along with some citrus dominated by the sour type (like lime and lemon).
Palate: Very peaty and a bit rough, vanilla and honey, a bit spicy but it’s more like the beginning of spice build up (more time in cask will do it good!)
Finish: Short medium length with peat, spices and lingering sweetness.
Thoughts: It’s young, there’s no doubt about it, but it also shows a lot of promise. I heard some people said it’s too rough and not balanced (toward the peat side), but for me it was a good example of young peaty whisky (think Bunnahabhain MOINE). I think the forecast for the future is clear and promising.