Last night's whisky nosing with more or less the usual suspects concentrated our interest on two long gone stills by each of the shorelines of Scotland: Glenlochy from Fort William and Glenglassaugh from near Portsoy on the Speyside coastline. Plus we tried a range of super premium chocolates (from Galler) of varying cocoa solid concentration, only to find out that - contrary to my belief - the milk chocolate with a mere 33 percent cocoa was actually very good with the whisky. Typically, it would have been to sweet, but I suspect the brand had a lot to do with this result.
Anyway, for the whiskies:
Glenlochy 17 yo from Cadenhead's, bottled in September 1995 for the US market, at 61,8 abv. Fresh, clear but light oak, vanilla, sweet malty center and noticeable perfumy tones floating around, to eventually even come up with some petroleum peaty notes (quite unusual). My summary reads "fresh teenager (simple but sexy...)". Score 79 and out of those there were a few bonus points for its freshness.
Glenlochy 23 yo from SMWS (bottling 62.9), bottled in May 2003 at 56,1 abv. Much more complex and rounded, with soft, creamy oaky notes, clove, semi-dry grass, almonds and perfumy notes, on a base of malty/fruity sweetness. Summary reads "apple stash and clove". Score 85 and probably as good as this distillery ever got.
Glenglassaugh 19 yo from SMWS (bottling 21.23), bottled in May 2003 at 52,5 abv and very clearly from a sherry butt. Intense doesn't do this justice - it jumps at you! Massive sherry, on ripe red fruits, coffe, figs and chocolate, but also vanilla, clean oak notes and decidedly candied notes - and in time a certain influence of peat, I think. Being decidedly singular, my summary reads "espresso coffee and sherry pralines". Score 86, in part down to its uncompromising character.
Glenglassaugh 26 yo from SMWS (bottling 21.16), bottled in February 2000 at 57,8 abv. Also a sherry bottling, but much more balanced than the above one. Almost tropical fruitiness, very nice oak, Seville oranges, a bit of bitter chocolate, flowery sherry and vanilla; perhaps also some pistachio nuts and a mouth watering tone. Elegant and the summary reads "well matured tropical candy". Score 90 and this is very high indeed, but it is a charming little number. Careful with the water, though!
The outcome of the vote on the four whiskies was exactly as indicated by my score above, but it was a close run between the two Glenglassaughs, closer than my score indicates. The clear division was between the two distilleries (and indeed different wood). Glenglassaugh is clearly the more complex and big whisky of the two. Go get it while you can! I understand that Royal Mile Whiskies has an own label bottling of Glenglassaugh, which is nice and good value for money...
Keep nosing! / Par