Glenglassaugh Revival


Hello folks! It has been a while since my last post, a combination of work, moving flat, exploring and maybe, just maybe, a little dash of lazyness has kept me from the golden pages here at EWB. But I shall endeavour to keep the posts a little more regular from now on, after all, we all have our lazy stints!

But enough of that, I am here now and what better way to celebrate finishing two weeks of night shift than to have a wee morning whisky to get me back in the swing of things! Over the last two weeks there have been many interesting whisky stories spanning the press. From the recently announced takeover of Bruichladdich by Rémy Cointreau to the legal challenges by the Scotch Whisky Association over the SNP’s minimum alcohol price law. It has been an exciting time for the whisky industry… but I think we can all agree that the REAL story of the week was the £100 bowl of Cullen Skink at the 2012 World Cullen Skink Championships. Made with Glenglaussagh Revival (the first single malt release since the distillery re-opened in 2008) this was the most expensive bowl of Cullen Skink ever made.

At this point any readers not from Scotland may be wondering what is this Cullen? And why does it Skink? Well, Cullen Skink is a pretty thick soup from, unsurprisingly, a place called Cullen in Moray, Scotland. Typically, it is made from smoked haddock, potatoes and onions served with a chunk of bread and guaranteed to warm you up! So, as you can imagine, adding a wee bit of whisky to the mix can only help to increase the flavours available in the soup!

Sadly, I was unavailable to attend the World Cullen Skink Championships, so I was unable to taste it (also at £100 a pop it’s not really in my weekly soup budget! And on that note it is usually £3-4 for a bowl so there must be a cask load of Revival in it to take it to that price!) but the whisky I chose to celebrate my freedom with was the Glenglassaugh Revival. Glenglassaugh was originally closed in 1986, but was reopened in February 2008. It was refurbished for a couple of months and then on the 4th of December that year the first spirit flowed from the stills. As we know whisky has to mature for at least 3 years to be classed as a single malt Scotch whisky so Glenglassaugh Revival is the first of the new era Glenglassaugh to meet this criteria. They have released a couple of ‘Spirit Drinks’ before including the Fledgling XB (one year matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks and reduced to 50% ABV) and the Peated (made from peated barley at 30ppm and again reduced to 50% ABV) both very pleasant and showing good promise. However, they also released the Blushes (6 months in ex-red wine casks, again 50% ABV) which is one of the worst flavours I have encountered in a whisky – think mouldy cake jam but with a strong spirit presence… not my cup of tea! So I was definitely interested in tasting this to find out what potential it has for the future, and to get a little taste of that Cullen Skink:

Glenglassaugh Revival 3 yo

1st fill ex-oloroso sherry finish
46% ABV
£34.99 from here

Nose: Very sharp you can tell that it is quite young. Quite sweet, burnt honey, caramelised sugar and spiced almonds. Sweet, strong and fiery.

Taste: I have to admit I was quite apprehensive about this with the nose and past experience but it genuinely is not too shabby! Sizzles around the palate and feels stronger than the 46% ABV. Has a lovely texture, like Spiderman candy sticks! That kind of chalky, hard, sweetness. The Oloroso comes through for a little rum and raisin cake.

Finish: Unsurprisingly for a young whisky there is not much. Pleasant and warming.

Overall: There is definitely potential. Still a little young, but actually not a horrendous early release. Fairly pleasant and pretty strong, I actually quite like it by itself. Worth a try if you are looking to try whisky at its earliest official release stage. With Cullen Skink? I am not actually sure how those to flavours would work together, but I want to find out! Maybe someone can lend me £100 for some soup? Or maybe I feel an experiment coming on…


Graeme Gardiner

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