What better sign for the health of the modern-day whisky industry than the re-opening of a long-deceased distillery? In fact, Glenglassaugh, despite being founded in 1875, has spent more time dormant than active. Between 1908 and 1960 it was in operation only sporadically, and was closed in 1986, seemingly for good. But in 2008 the distillery was brought back from the dead by a Dutch company called Scaent. Officially opened by Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland at the time, Glenglassaugh set about producing artisanal ‘craft’ whisky using traditional methods and locally-sourced materials, drumming up interest while their whisky matured by releasing unaged ‘spirit drinks’ and a couple of very old expressions from the limited supplies left in their warehouses.
In 2013 the distillery was acquired by the BenRiach Distillery Co., who currently enjoy a virtually unparalleled reputation in Scotland thanks to their excellent work with the BenRiach and Glendronach distilleries. If they can repeat the trick with Glenglassaugh, it will certainly be one to watch in the near future. Their currently available bottlings are young but showcase the distillery’s potential, with a distinctly coastal style mingling with classic Speyside fruits and, in some expressions, a burst of classic Highland peat smoke.