After doing a wee bit of reading about Glenglassaugh's fairly recent revival, I decided to explore something from their range. After all, they've gone for the full craft presentation, adding no colouring and not chill-filtering their whisky. I'm always eager to support distilleries who treat their product with a bit of respect, so I took a wander into town on an overcast Saturday morning a few months ago and left the liquor store with a bottle of the Evolution.
The other two on the shelves are the Revival, which is aged in a mixture of first-fill and refill bourbon casks for a handful of years and then finished for six months in first-fill Oloroso sherry butts, and the Torfa, a peated malt aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
The Evolution is young like the other two expressions, but it's been aged George Dickel Tennessee bourbon barrels. I thought this would add something a little extra to the flavours - along with the fact it's been bottled at a thoroughly respectable 50%.
In we go!
On the nose, there's a confectionery mountain of banana-flavoured toffee. If any of you remember Toffos, this has that smell in abundance. Once it settles down, I get apricot jam sweetness, barley sugars, Mackintosh apples and a hint of fresh mint. A wee dribble of water brought out chocolate-covered raisins, lychee, glace cherries, white grape skins, caramel, red liquorice laces, pear juice, green wood sap, crumbly custard cream biscuits and an amazing aroma which reminded me of red and black jelly babies. For a very young whisky, this is a complex and delightful beast.
Taking a sip, it has a wonderful mouth feel, covering the tongue with a rich, syrupy flavour sensation. There's loads of fruit jam, rich vanilla custard, a good dollop of honey, liquorice, sweet lemon and the merest hint of tangerine juice.
The finish carries on the jammy note and there's a little creaminess which creeps in and a rounded bitter lemon. However, it's here where the whisky's youth comes through, with a slight metallic taste lingering a little too long.
That said, I really enjoyed the Glenglassaugh Evolution. For a young malt - and I'm guessing 4-5 years - this has stacks of character and it is bursting with flavour. I'll definitely be exploring the rest of their range. If they're half as good as this, I'm in for a treat.