Whisky Advent Calendar: Day 7

7 12 2014

I’m not sure what’s more impressive, one straight week of blog posts or one straight week of whiskies.  More impressive than either might be the story behind tonight’s scotch, the Revival from Glenglassaugh distillery in the Scottish Highlands.  If you’ve never heard of that distillery (I hadn’t), don’t feel bad:  it was mothballed in 1986, much like my favourite distillery Port Ellen was in 1983.  However, unlike Port Ellen, Glenglassaugh wasn’t destroyed, but just sat unused…until 2008, when it amazingly reopened and started producing whisky again.  This bottle (whose name now takes on extra significance) was the first release of Glenglassaugh, version 2.0.

Revival - what's old is new again.

Revival – what’s old is new again.

This is the least expensive of the whiskies in the calendar to date, clocking in at $58 retail, and we’re back into the stratosphere on alcohol levels at 46%.  The Revival was legitimately weird on the nose, featuring an assertive layer of fermented, briny, barnacle-y, almost cheesy sherried notes on top of apple and citrus fruit — unsurprisingly, after aging first in old red wine and bourbon casks, it was finished in first-fill oloroso sherry butts.  Thankfully, the palate was both more generous and less funky than the nose, as maple and honey mingled with saltwater, hot coals and sweet soap, finishing in a potpourri-tinged flourish.  Not sure if it’s quite my whisky of choice, but I do love a good tale of redemption, and I wish more of the shuttered distilleries of the 1980s got the same chance at redemption.

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