Added: May 3rd 2015
GLENGLASSAUGH DISTILLERY INFO
Glenglassaugh Distillery, at the east end of the beautiful Sandend Bay, was founded by Col. James Moir in 1875. He quickly established a reputation for making a quality whisky and the company prospered.
He ran the distillery with his two nephews until 1892, when Glenglassaugh was purchased by Highland Distillers. After being completely re-built in 1960, the distillery continued to produce whisky until 1986 when it was mothballed.
The distillery sat silent for over 20 years until it was purchased by a group of investors and started production again in December 2008. In 2013, the BenRiach Distillery Company took over Glenglassaugh distillery with the intention to bring this iconic distillery fully back to life by giving it the investment, commitment and care it deserves.
Glenglassaugh is produced using the highest quality of Scottish barley and traditional distilling methods, our key focus being on quality. While many distilleries have become highly automated, here at Glenglassaugh our spirit is still handcrafted by a small, highly skilled team dedicated to creating the highest quality product. Only the finest casks are selected to slowly mature our precious spirit in our coastal warehouses until it is ready.
Glenglassaugh Distillery stands at the edge of Sandend Bay, approximately two miles to the west of Portsoy. It was here, on the banks of the Glassaugh burn, in an area known to have been previously favoured by illicit distillers, that local entrepreneur Colonel James Moir built the distillery in 1875.
The distillery quickly established a reputation for producing quality whisky and the company prospered. Following the death of founder James Moir, the distillery’s ownership was passed to this two nephews who increased production in order to satisfy rising demand for their high quality whisky.
However, following the unexpected death of one of the nephews in 1892, the distillery was sold to Robertson & Baxter who had been a long standing customer. Robertson & Baxter immediately sold the distillery to the Highland Distilleries Company.
The distillery’s reputation for producing high quality malt whisky continued to grow but following a downturn in the whisky industry, the distillery was closed in 1907. Some of the buildings continued to be used but the distillation equipment remained silent. During the Second World War several buildings were used by military support personnel with the old maltings turned into a bakery.
With a growing involvement in producing their own blended whisky, Highland Distilleries constructed new production building housing, the mashing, fermentation and distillation equipment at Glenglassaugh in 1959 and re-opened in 1960. Their aim was to produce a light, whisky with little character that could be used for blends in large quantities.
It was only after 10 years of running that they discovered that Glenglassaugh whisky was a complex whisky full of character which had to be used more sparingly in blends than other whiskies which were available. A number of trials were undertaken over the years to try and change the whiskies character, but without success and so eventually, in 1986, the company decided to close the distillery but to continue to operate the relatively large warehouse on the site.
It was during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that the whiskies that have in recent years won awards and international recognition and become sought after by whisky connoisseurs and collectors alike, were produced. The four managers who oversaw the production during this period were themselves recognised recently with the release of The Managers’ Legacy Series of single cask whiskies.
Since the re-opening, in 2008, the company has continued to grow, winning awards and gained new friends and advocates. Our whiskies can now be found worldwide in specialist retailers.
In 2009 three aged whiskies were released: a 21 Years Old, an “Aged over 30 Years” and an “Aged over 40 Years”, as well as two spirit products; “The Spirit that dare not speak its name” and “The Spirit Drink that blushes to speak its name”. The spirit drinks were followed in 2010 by “Fledgling XB” and the 21 Years Old was succeeded by the 26 Years Old.
Glenglassaugh Revival, the first whisky from the re-born distillery, was launched in 2012. Later that year, Glenglassaugh Evolution, matured in ex-Tennessee casks, followed this popular release.
In 2013, the Benriach Distillery Company took over Glenglassaugh distillery with the intention to bring the iconic distillery fully back to life. The first release under new ownership was the 30 Years Old followed by the 40 Years Old.
Source: The Glenglassaugh website
Personal note by Paul’s Whisk(e)y Miniature World:
After the distillery was re-opened in 2008 by the Lithuanian investment company, The Scaent Group. They put the distillery in the capable hands of Stuart Nickerson, who led the distillery up to the moment that the distillery was sold to the BenRiach Distillery Company, with Billy Walker at the helm.
Since the re-opening some new whiskies were produced and the distillery is again making very delicate whiskies.