We’re ending this week reviews with some highland peat courtesy of Glenglassaugh distillery.
Glenglassaugh 2011 Rum Cask No #2, Tyndrum Whisky Exclusive
The peated spirit for this release was distilled on the 16th of May 2011 and matured for 8 years before being bottled in 2020. 216 bottles were available.
There's a fair bit going on off the bat, there's some tropical fruit reminiscent of mango or pineapple, a yeastiness akin to freshly baked bread and a prominent earthy, highland peat note that underlies the dram. Those three aromas all meld quite well together, none of which really take centre stage. The alcohol is present but feels restrained for 55.2%. Going back after air, we're finding burnt twigs, freshly turned soil and a little white pepper that's been awoken in warm oil.
The palate opens with sweet and sour mango, leaning towards the sour side. We're then finding some sweeter vanilla and cake like flavours coming through. There's a tinge of that rum cask here too, not too funky but providing a tropical backbone to the whisky. We're finding a nice balance of peat here, it's working well to give the dram another dimension but not overpower it. The mouthfeel is nice, a little oily and the finish has a good length with a little bit of black pepper spice from the alcohol, as well as some dry oak. You can tell it's young, but it's well balanced for a whisky of this age.
Nose (with water)
Water brings out a fizziness on the nose, almost effervescent. The tropical fruits we were getting before have really taken over the nose now, backed up with a lighter, yet still earthy peat smoke. We're also finding a light tobacco note we didn't detect before.
Palate (with water)
In a similar vein to the diluted nose, we're finding the dram fruitier, sweeter and slightly more spritzy, with mango, pineapple and guava too. The mouthfeel loses a little of its oiliness, but the finish retains a good length showing sweet oak, pepper and a lighter peat influence than before.
This is impressively refreshing for a peated highlander. The dram maintains balance throughout with a few different notes melding together to create a pleasant, cohesive aroma and flavour. Quite impressive for a young whisky, we're not generally fans of rum cask maturations but this one works for us.
Dramfool 46th Release - Glenglassaugh (peated) 2010
Another peated Glenglassaugh, this one spent 4 years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a refill sherry hogshead for 7 years of additional maturation. 247 were released.
Initial notes of dried orange peel (like what you'd find in potpourri), fizzy lemonade, confectioners sugar, white pepper and a light peat aroma. There's a little bit of malt, clove, maybe even cardamom. The alcohol is nicely balanced with the cask, it's very pleasant to nose even when going deep into the glass. Going back after some air, we're getting hazelnuts, vanilla cream biscuits and some dry leaves.
Quite a peppery, spicy beginning, showing some light cinnamon and nutmeg then moving into a creamier vanilla flavour. There's a good amount of peat here, earthy and dry. We're getting some cocoa beans, lime zest and some of that dry orange peel from the nose. There's a salinity on the palate too, a little salted caramel and a touch of custard too. The whisky has a reasonable mouthfeel, it's not thin by any means but not particularly oily or viscous. The finish is good, although we're finding it a little spicy throughout... Maybe some water will help?
Nose (with water)
A big hit of vanilla sweetness greets us now, following into lemon and lime aromas. We're finding a little salt on the nose now, but it's not too strong. We're also getting some biscuit, a little star anise and a touch of barley sugar too. The pepperiness from before has faded, but there's still the presence of earthy peat here.
Palate (with water)
Water has tamed the initial spice, and it's turned into more citrus forward flavours with the backbone of dry peat and oak. The mouthfeel and finish remain mostly unchanged, just with the mellowing of spice but increase in drier wood flavours. There's now a little dry leather here too.
An interesting dram that doesn't have as much sherry influence as we had expected, but we feel this has maintained the integrity of the spirit. The aromas and flavours are well balanced but the alcohol is a bit fierce on the undiluted palate. An enjoyable highland malt that we'd happily go back to for another dram.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.