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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 16, 2013


Tasting three very expressive and impressive Glenglassaugh

So, after having quickly previewed it while my nose was only in average shape, it's time to properly assess the new official 30 yo by the new owners (the Benriach - Billy Walker gang). As usual, we'll add one or two worthy sparring partners, one older official and one independent. Remember, with wines or spirits, only comparison is reason.

Glenglassaugh 23 yo 1984/2007 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, butt, cask #187)

Glenglassaugh 23 yo 1984/2007 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, butt, cask #187) Four stars and a halfW&M also had another cask at the time, #190, and I found it excellent back in 2007 (WF 89). Colour: deep amber. Nose: bang, heavy, slightly foxy sherry! Sure there's the usual fruitcake (hello!) but I find some soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and touches of oxidised walnuts right at first sniffs. That's not unpleasant, quite the opposite. After that, we have more of the expected raisins and dried fruits (apricots, quince jelly) and some sweet white wine, such as late harvest gewurz. Mouth: it's very autumnal, I mean I find chestnuts, dried mushrooms, walnuts again, some heavy black tea Russian-style, something a little acrid and tannic from the wood (more strong black tea) and then a lot of cocoa powder and bitter chocolate with just a few orange zests. Chestnut honey, a lot of that. Finish: long, on more walnuts and some Italian espresso (which we would call ultra-ristretto, there must be a name for that). Maybe flints. Comments: I've just read my notes for cask #190 and both seem to have been very similar. SGP:662 - 89 points.

Glenglassaugh 30 yo (44.8%, OB, 2013)

Glenglassaugh 30 yo (44.8%, OB, 2013) Five stars The former decanter for the 30 was cubic, this one's pear shaped. Not too sure that means anything. Colour: amber. Nose: starts quieter than the 1984, with less sherry and rather more waxes and almonds. What I really enjoy is the earthy side that also comes with some tobacco (cigarettes - sorry no brand names), as well as some raisins. Well, a whole fresh-opened pack of juicy ripe sultanas! Also very nice touches of wood polish, cedar wood and maybe incense. Oh and a little herbal tea, rather around eglantine. Keeps unfolding for a long time, this one shouldn't be rushed. Mouth: excellent arrival on bitter oranges and spices (cinnamon) before it becomes quite lush and fruitier. Mangos and melons are quite obvious, sultanas too. What I like best is the balance between the fruits and the spices, it's both very fruity and very spicy, whilst I've often noticed that old malts that were becoming spicier were also losing a bit of their fruitiness. No such things here. Finish: long but with no further changes. More of the same. Just the aftertaste is maybe a notch too tannic. Comments: this baby really benefited from some breathing. It's (even) better than when I previewed it. Plain 90 material in my book. SGP:661 - 90 points.

Glenglassaugh 1972/2010 (59.3%, OB, Andrea Caminneci for Germany, refill hogshead, cask #2891, 303 bottles)

Glenglassaugh 1972/2010 (59.3%, OB, Andrea Caminneci for Germany, refill hogshead, cask #2891, 303 bottles) Five stars Warning, warning, warning, another 1972 selected by Herr Caminneci in 2012 was utterly stunning (WF 93). This one cannot be as great, that is impossible, isn't it? It's also funny that the oldest is both the lightest in colour and the strongest. Colour: gold. Nose: and yet another beehivy 1972. You know, Caperdonich, Clynelish... A lot of fresh honey, pollen, ripe plums, quince jam, maybe mango chutney... All this is pretty brilliant, extremely fresh and not too powerful at almost 60% vol. I cannot not think of some old Sauternes, maybe even one that starts with a Y. With water: full on ripe mirabelles and quince jelly. Quince jelly is my Proust's madeleine. Mouth (neat): a total fruitbomb. Watch the kids. Passion fruits, mangos, tangerines, bananas, pineapples, kiwis... Right, I won't list them all. What's even more striking is the way it becomes even more citrusy after a few seconds, with more and more lemons and grapefruits. And once again, you don't feel the 60% vol. too much. With water: pure fruit syrup. Finish: quite long, very fruity, on the same tones and notes. Mirabelles! Fruity olive and almond oils in the aftertaste, always a great development. Even sugar cane. Comments: hem! This is unquestionably great. Only fault, it's too drinkable. SGP:751 - 93 points.

(With thanks to Dennis and Tobias)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glenglassaugh I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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