Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Owner: Brown-Forman Corporation (Benriach)
Average price: € 51.00
Official website: www.glenglassaugh.com
After a long time, we introduce another Highland distillery, located just outside the Speyside region, near the small town of Portsoy.
Founded in 1875 by Colonel James Moir and his two nephews, who wanted to satisfy the growing demand for whisky from the customers of their grocery shop, Glenglassaugh had good fortune until the death of two of the founders, leading the sole survivor to sell the business in 1892 to Highland Distillers. The Highland Distillers maintained production but closed in 1907, with the plant remaining unused until it was acquired in 1986 by the Edrington Group, which used the distillate for its own blends such as The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.
The rebirth of the distillery came in 2008, when it was bought by the Scaent Group, which decided to relaunch the distillery by distributing a number of bottlings made from whiskies dating back to before 1986: in particular, a 40-year-old expression received much recognition and wide notoriety at the time.
The following year the company officially resumed operations, with the first official release in 2011, preceded by bottlings produced in the same way as single malts except for ageing (and therefore not defined as whiskies).
The Benriach Distilling Company acquired the distillery in 2013.
Glenglassaugh’s core range is divided into two parts: the budget bottlings (all NAS: Revival, Evolution and Torfa) and the more demanding ones (30 years, 40 years and 51 years).
Then there are the limited editions, currently five: Rare Cask Release, Peated Virgin Oak Finish, Peated Port Wood Finish, Pedro Ximénez Sherry Wood Finish and Port Wood Finish (as you can see, all NAS).
The Torfa (which in Old Norse stands for, astonishment!, peat) I’m talking about today is the only peated one from the main bottlings.
The colour in the glass is full gold.
The nose is very fresh and sweet, with vanilla, caramel, melon and a lingering herbaceous hint. The peat is little more than an ethereal puff of smoke twisting around the aromas, more marine than meaty.
On the palate, you can really feel the youthfulness of the malt, at times almost cloying, were it not for the fact that the alcohol breaks the tone giving a push to the mineral peat, accompanied again by caramel and ripe fruit. A touch of pepper and ginger enliven the taste, which remains very fresh and pleasant, alternating sweetness and saltiness in a fairly balanced way. For a peated whisky, I have to say that there’s very little smoke here, we are more on a meadow overlooking the ocean, nibbling on a ripe melon, looking for someone with a lighter.
And evidently in the end we have found it, because in the finish here comes some ash with fruit and a touch of ginger, medium-long.
This Torfa doesn’t exalt but neither does it disappoint: a pleasant whisky, with a smooth and pleasant drink, approachable in particular by those who do not like strong flavours, especially when it comes to peat.
The Whiskey Reviewer