The Whisky Works: A King of Trees & A Glaswegian

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A little while ago, Whyte and Mackay announced they were adding a new arm to their business; an independent bottling company called ‘Whisky Works’, with their whisky maker Gregg Glass at the helm. The launch of the new venture was marked with the release of two limited edition whiskies, a 29 year old single grain whisky from a closed Glaswegian distillery (*ahem* Port Dundas) and a 10 year old blended malt, which has been part-finished in Scottish Oak.

Gregg Glass said: “Whisky making is a true passion of mind. Along the way I have been fortunate to develop relationships with brilliant producers connected right along the whisky making process right  back to the individual foresters that manage the woodland that produces our casks. The Whisky Works is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate what can be achieved in the production of a Scotch Whisky.”

King of Trees 10yo
Highland Blended Malt Whisky
2,157 bottles
46.5% ABV
£74.95 here

Nose: Sweet peppermint, lemon icing, pear skins, pine sap and quite cereally – dry muesli and bran flakes. Then vanilla sponge, marzipan and almonds.

Palate: Apple core, more pear, a white pepper nip, lemon peel and pink grapefruit. Then sugared almonds, coconut, and some drying green oak.

Finish: Vanilla, lemon, and drying oak.

The 29 Year Old Glaswegian
Single Grain Whisky
1,642 bottles
54.2% ABV
£129.95 here

Nose: Balsa wood, and some window putty, then caramel barrels, toffee pennies, Belgian waffles, and butterscotch Angel Delight. There’s a bit of white chocolate, some dried raspberries and peach yoghurt too.

Palate: Instantly fruity, with ripe bananas, poached pear, apple strudel, mango and nectarine. There’s a big ginger spice too, with lemon parfait, and freshly sawn wood.

Finish: Lingering oak, with a tingling woodspice and a toffee sweetness.

Overall: The King of Trees is a very pleasant whisky, and has the added draw of being partially matured in Scottish Oak which is really quite uncommon. Having said that, I’m not sure what the point of doing that was – Scottish Oak isn’t known for being particularly good for maturing whisky in (or else waaaay more brands would have released whisky matured in it), and whatever the influence is, it appears to me to be quite unnoticeable. It simply tastes like a straight forward American Oak matured whisky and therefore it seems to be a bit of a marketing gimmick. With an asking price of nigh on £75 it’s completely overpriced in my opinion. Somewhere sub-£40 would have been acceptable. It’s not for me I’m afraid.

The Glaswegian is a different beast entirely. I really enjoy old grain whiskies, and while they might not be as complex as similarly aged single malt counterparts, they can be extremely satisfying drams. Old whiskies from closed grain distilleries are still available for a keen price, and this whisky falls right into that bracket. Delicious, moreish, thoroughly enjoyable and competitively priced. Much more my cup of tea.



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