The distillery near Portsoy was reopened in 2008 following a silence of more than two decades. It was the last of three distilleries, after Benriach and GlenDronach in Speyside, to be acquired by master blender Billy Walker before all three were sold to American spirits group Brown-Forman in 2016.
This new trio of single malts, arguably the most significant release in Glenglassaugh's new era, is said to mark a turning point in its artistic direction while retaining the signature tropical, coastal-influenced style for which it is known.
The trio comprises a flagship 12-year-old single malt and two non-age-statement expressions: Sandend, an unpeated single malt inspired by Sandend Bay, which the distillery's warehouses overlook; and Portsoy, a lightly peated single malt inspired by the distillery's maritime location and the deep, sometimes tempestuous waters of the Moray Firth.
Rachel Barrie, Glenglassaugh Distillery's master blender, said: "The new portfolio brings together all the key elements of Glenglassaugh’s spirit. Inspired by its truly unique coastal location, the new expressions transport us to a place where the spirit is awakened and soul invigorated, inviting us to stop, take a breath and appreciate our surroundings.
"To taste Glenglassaugh single malt is to experience the coastal influence of Sandend Bay and the ancient harbour towns nearby. Shaped by the coalescence of land and sea, the senses are awakened by the imposing yet calming crash of waves and the sweet smell of gorse in the air."
The Glenglassaugh 12 Years Old has been matured in a combination of bourbon, sherry, and red wine casks and is bottled at 45% ABV. Sandend (50.5% ABV) is aged in bourbon and sherry casks, alongside a number of ex-manzanilla casks, which Barrie says work especially well with Glenglassaugh's coastal-style spirit. The expression has notes of vanilla fudge, salted caramel, and tropical pineapple balanced with sea herbs, minerality, and citrus notes. Portsoy (49.1% ABV) is matured in a mix of sherry, bourbon, and port casks for a rich spirit with notes of soy sauce, dark fruit, and dark chocolate alongside signature tropical fruit and minerality.
All the whiskies were matured in Glenglassaugh's warehouses, which now house some 35,000 casks in total. Alongside these new expressions, Glenglassaugh will also be releasing a number of whiskies dating back to the 1960s and 1970s later this year.
To celebrate the launches, Glenglassaugh has partnered with landscape photographer Richard Gatson on a photography series that will illustrate the distillery’s connection to the land and sea.
More information on the new whiskies can be found at glenglassaugh.com.