Glenglassaugh Revival Review

Glenglassaugh Revivalbottles 016

46% abv

Score:  73/100


I really want to love this whisky.  The fact that Glenglassaugh is making a run at the comeback is brilliant and inspiring.  The revenue obstacles they face in closing a 21 year gap in production are enough to make most concede defeat, but this distillery is working the angles, and pumping out a few nice older releases from their depleting stores of older stock.  The good news? They generate revenue to keep the distillate flowing, and we, the consumer, get some fine old drams to tide us over.  The bad news?  Those old stocks are finite.  As they run lower, there will be less and less in the warehouse to constitute special releases further down the line.

For sheer balls and bravado, I am 110% in the corner of this contender.

Revival is the first release of spirit produced under the new ownership team at Glenglassaugh.  The whisky is now a solid three years on and, much like the afore-mentioned methods of driving revenue, this is another attempt at getting the cash flow rolling.  A three year old whisky is not generally going to be a truly memorable dram (not in a good way anyway), however in this age of single malt excitement, we whisky nerds want to snap up early releases from the distilleries and try the product at various stages along the road to maturity.

Nose:  Feinty and a little sharp.  Definitely notes of new make.  Quite sweet (both synthetic, from the feisty young spirity notes…and more natural, from the sherry).  Plum and raisin.  Liquor-soaked black cherry.  Lemon.  Chocolate and mint.  Oak.  A sort of ‘smoked’ note about it.

Palate:  New make-ish.  Nutmeg.  Kinda weedy.  Wax.  Briny.  Mouth-puckering orange rind.  Not altogether awesome, and certainly a drop-off from the nose.  I kinda think the sherry acts like a corset when it comes to the nose, holding all the undesirables in check.  Then, when the corset comes off…well..there’s no hiding the less than perfect form as you actually taste it.

Thoughts:  Feinty, but not tooooo far off.  Though I do have to wonder how much this is being propped up by the sweetening influence of the Oloroso.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

1 thought on “Glenglassaugh Revival Review

  1. Jeff

    Interesting review and, although you’re being quite diplomatic, the score tells it all. I’m sure that some in the industry will be shocked, not to find out that age actually matters in whisky development, but to find out that consumers know it too, despite heavy PR and generally supportive comments from many in the whisky media about the “direction” and “potential” shown by infant products. Whiskies that aren’t 80-class simply aren’t competent and aging for three years is a bare LEGAL qualification, not a serious attempt at maturation (at least Inverhouse Green Plaid tries to dress it up by calling it 36 months – and try THAT stuff, it’ll have you RUNNING to buy Red Label).

    Retailing for about £35.00 ($55.32 Canadian) is nervy to say the least and, although I wish Glenglassaugh all the best in their reboot, I doubt I’m going to make their cash flow problems my concern by “chipping in” on this one. Interesting, too, that the distillery’s website, from which you can order the product, makes no mention of the age – irrelevant to marketers or a source of shame to distillers, you be the judge. If you had to have an age statement on every bottle, a big ol’ “3” on the label might make some think twice about putting these underperformers out there.

    With so many products falling comfortably, but unexceptionally, in the 80-range, it is “the stars” and “the dogs” that need review the most, and thanks for continuing to give us the heads-up on both.



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