Tasting Review: Glenglassaugh Torfa

Glenglassaugh Distillery, standing on the Moray Firth Coast at the edge of Sandend Bay, is a distillery which lay silent and forgotten for over two decades. Its heritage stretches back to 1875 when it was founded by James Moir. Th distinctive fruity character of its whiskies is loved by all who discover it.

After being mothballed for over 20 years, production was restarted in 2008. The first whiskies from this refurbished distillery, being the “Revival” and “Evolution”, are now available to single malt Scotch whisky lovers everywhere.

At Glenglassaugh, in addition to the traditional production, they also produce a very limited quantity of whisky using richly peated malted barley as the cereal varietal. The malted barley has been dried in the traditional way, over peat infused kilns, giving the whisky its unique smokey flavour. Glenglassaugh Torfa with it’s peaty, phenolic nature, is a unique expression, and is quite different to the usual style of whisky produced in the Highlands. ‘Torfa’ referring to the Old Norse word for peat, is a brooding, edgy character, whose personality is to be found at the darker end of the spectrum.

COLOUR: Gleaming yellow gold.

NOSE: Vivid, sweet, sooty campfire smoke and sea air infused zest of lime, apricot jam and ripe soft fruits; all gently warmed by hints of stem ginger and cracker black pepper.

PALATE: An eloquent, sweet coastal peat smoke engulfs candied peel over melon, pineapple and roasted apples. Oat biscuits, hints of honey and a gentle cigar box spice all combine to give a terrific balance to the expressive smokey character.

FINISH: a heady, yet elegant harmony of distinct coastal peat and striking spiced fruit flavours

OVERALL: Released in 2014, Torfa is the first peated whisky by Glenglassaugh. Although it is a peated whisky, the peat doesn’t take over but it compliments the citrus flavors. It leaves a pleasant peppery tang on your tongue. Botteled at 50% ABV, this dram is surprisingly smooth and no drop of water needs to be added.

Bottle: 70 cl, 50% ABV
Category: Highland single malt Scotch whisky
Age: No age statement
Peatines: 20 ppm
Cask type: ex-Bourbon
Filtering: non-chill filtered

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