I got the chance to try re-opened distillery Glenglassaugh’s new products at K&L’s first Wednesday tasting at the Redwood City location, as well as the 26 year-old bottling, from casks filled before the distillery closed in 1986. It was interesting to see the vast difference that 26 years in an oak barrel makes, effectively turning vodka into the fine malt whisky that we know and love.
The 26 year-old Glenglassaugh was bottled at 46% ABV in late 2010, 26 years after being casked around 1984. The distillery was mothballed 2 years later in 1986. There is evident sherry influence, although I don’t know what percentage of time it spent in sherry casks.
Nose: Plum, pungent florals. Resolves into a lot of banana. Would benefit from some airing-out time in the glass. (Alas, I didn’t give it much).
Palate: Spices (clove?), vanilla custard and piping-hot bananas foster. Smooth and light. Prunes.
Finish: Woody, with round tannins and fading wood spices (cinnamon). Light. Short finish, surprisingly.
Overall: Smooth and well-rounded, with light sherry influence. Unfortunately, it has a lot of that banana flavor that I keep finding and dislike. For a 26 year-old Scotch, I wasn’t very impressed. Maybe it’s just me and my banana hangup. Note that the $250 price tag reflects the rarity and soon-to-be-extinct nature of this particular whisky. That makes it collectible, I suppose, but unless you have a chance to try it (and like it a lot more than I did), I don’t recommend that you buy any.