Glenglassaugh Distillery



History - This distillery has had its fair share of up’s and down’s since it opened in 1875. It is located at the east end of Sandend bay, two miles west of the town of Portsoy and was founded by Col. James Moir who quickly established a reputation for making a quality whisky. He ran the distillery with his two nephews until 1892, when Glenglassaugh was purchased by Highland Distillers. After being completely re-built in 1960 and the distillery continued to produce whisky until 1986 when it was closed. Thankfully In 2008 a group of investors and more importantly whisky enthusiasts bought the distillery and brought it back to life. In 2016 American spirit company Brown-Forman acquired the Glenglassaugh Distillery alongside The GlenDronach and BenRiach distilleries with a vision of making Glenglassaugh a global whisky brand.

The Whisky – You can still find some old bottlings from the distillery but they are pretty rare but well worth trying if you can get your hands on them. Over the last few years however they have launched several whiskies with a big focus on using quality casks such as ex-Oloroso and PX sherry and Port casks. Most of these single malts are non-age statement whiskies but please don’t let that put you off as they are all damn good whiskies.

Favourite Dram - The PX Sherry Wood Finish is one of my favourites with bags of fruitless and a touch of spice. You can pick up a bottle for around £60.

Geek Alert - The key to any good Blended Scotch is the single malts that is used in its recipe. A blend can have as many as 40 different whiskies in its creation. Between 1960 and 1986 Glenglassugh’s sole purpose was to make single malt for that purpose. It was a key component in brands such as Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse. During the 80’s the whole Scotch industry saw a big decline in sales which saw many distilleries closing, which included Glenglassaugh in 1986.

Why Visit? – They don't actively push tours here but are set up to take people round if they con-tact the distillery ahead of time. It has just opened back up after a break during December and is available for booking between Monday and Friday. What i can promise is a more in depth tour of the distillery than you will get in most others. This is a unique distillery and if you are really into your whisky then i highly recommend making the effort to get up there and if you do it would be worth booking the “Behind the Scenes” tour for £35 . On this tour you will see parts that usually aren’t open to the general public along with view the casks in their coastal warehouses and see some of the most spectacular sights in the whisky industry. The tour is followed by a tasting with a selection of their award-winning drams. Once back in the shop you can also hand-fill your own bot-tle of Glenglassaugh and label it to take home with you.

Interesting fact – In recent times we have been going through a “golden era” for Scotch whisky but it wasn't always this way. Like many spirits there have been up’s and down’s along the way. A good example of this is Glenglassaugh which has been closed, or mothballed as they call it in the indus-try, more than it has been operational since its creation in 1875.