Glenglassaugh Coastal Cask Collection

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Glenglassaugh has launched the Coastal Cask Collection, a series of hand selected single casks distilled shortly after the distillery was revived in 2008 after a 22 year period in mothballs. With its Brown-Forman stablemates Glendronach and Benriach having released annual batches of single cask bottlings for a number of years now, I kinda wondered how long we’d have to wait until Glenglassaugh joined the party. Now we have our answer.

The collection comprises ten single casks with each one available in a different location worldwide. Today, I have the distillery exclusive and the UK exclusive single casks in front of me, both 10 years old, both bourbon barrels, but one has been filled with peated spirit and the other unpeated spirit. Speaking of these releases, Glenglassaugh Master Blender Rachel Barrie said: “No matter what is happening in the world around us, each day the surf rolls in on Sandend Bay and the invigorating North Sea air passes through our coastal distillery and warehouses. That’s the beauty of Glenglassaugh’s coastal casks, each truly a distillation of nature’s elements, come wind, rain or shine. Over a decade since the spirit reawakened in 2008, Coastal Casks is the first global release of a selection of Glenglassaugh cask bottlings at 10 and 11 years old. Like the surf in Sandend Bay, each cask brings rolling waves of flavour that intensify and evolve in each and every sip.”

Let’s give them a whirl.

Glenglassaugh 2009 10yo #1346
Coastal Cask Collection
Distillery Exclusive
Bourbon Barrel
54.7% ABV
£89 RRP

Nose: Quite malty and sweet, with digestive biscuits and some honey on porridge. Then lemon peel, apple core, candied ginger, a little brine-y note, and some freshly sawn oak.

Palate: A big white pepper and root ginger zing to start with, with crystallised pineapple and pink grapefruit. Then treacle toffee and salted caramel, with stewed apricot and pear adding a syrupy sweetness.

Finish: Those tingling, warming spices linger, with vanilla icing, malt biscuits and some fresh oak.

Glenglassaugh 2009 10yo #559
Coastal Cask Collection
UK Exclusive
Bourbon Barrel
55.9% ABV
£89 RRP

Nose: Smoked flowers (singed potpourri?), hickory and baked apples. Then salted roasted nut mix, with heathery, aromatic smoke.

Palate: A big hit of robust, ashy smoke and bonfire embers to start with, then salted popcorn, clove and cinnamon stick. Richer notes of raisins, dark cherry and cacao powder lurk underneath.

Finish: Charred sticks, earthy spice and rolling bonfire smoke last for quite a while.

Overall: Two very different, and rather impressive single casks, especially given their relatively tender age. The distillery exclusive single cask showcases the lighter, cleaner, coastal side of Glenglassaugh, whereas the heavily peated UK exclusive single cask sits right at the other end of the spectrum. They’re perhaps priced a little high for what they are, but that’s really a minor gripe. The quality of the whisky is very good, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it matures and progresses over the next few years.

 

 

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