We’ve tried unaged whisky (aka new make) before, and it hasn’t gone well. Unaged whisky ends up being all of the angry yelling and none of the make up fun you get with casked spirits. This one was a pleasant surprise.
Glenglassaugh is an established distillery (they have a 30y) that is either trying something new, or monetizing more of their product lifetime, depending how cynical you’re feeling. In this case, Whisky Exchange informs us that the XB is aged for one year in bourbon barrels, which might explain its relative smoothness compared to other not-technically-whiskies we’ve had.
After a little further reading, turns out Glenglassaugh has a huge supply of 30y because they were closed from 1986-2008 as the scotch market adjusted. They changed hands a few times, and were part of blends like Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse, but being mothballed usually leads to old stock. Might even be a business plan. They’re now owned by Benriach (who own Glendronach).Restarting the distillery explains releasing un- or short-aged whisky – you can cask one half of your make and sell the other and keep the lights on while you wait for the magic to happen. I’m interested to taste this after more time in the oak.
Dan – not alcoholic, white wine, chardonnay
Simon – crystal light?
Dave – not a big burn, wine
Ryan – dry white wine, fruity
Matt – sappy notes, rubbing alcohol, sweet, vegetable
Dan – super light on tongue, burn, wood, caramel
Simon – candy, cinnamon, chest burn
Dave – more of a sensation than a taste, licorice
Ryan – touch of mild spice, not burn
Matt – pretty nice for unaged, no character but enjoyable
Dan – apricot, peach
Simon – slightly better
Dave – really good
Ryan – enjoyable with a splash but better if aged, earthiness
Matt – not as nice with a splash, aftertaste.
Glenglassaugh Fledgling XB – 50% 200ml – $33.95 – Speyside
Try it? Yes, very interesting. Buy it? Not at the price.