Glenglassaugh’s Sandend has taken top spot in the Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 Whiskies of the Year, being named Whisky of the Year 2023 in the coveted poll, winning a ‘nearly unanimous vote’.

The whisky was created by Master Blender Rache Barrie, who recently spoke to Bars and Clubs about Glenglassaugh, describing the flavour profile as “luscious, coastal elixir, I would say, tropical fruit, with a crack of sea salt”.

She also spoke about creating non-age statement whiskies, saying “NAS whiskies are ones that you can really bring out different characteristics in, they are a bit more funky, a bit more cool and with Glenglassaugh we have got the Sanded and Portsoy, which are very different from each other”.

Glenglassaugh Sandend is matured in Bourbon, Sherry and Manzanilla casks, which help to develop the sweet and salty flavours Dr Barrie talked about. With the Glenglassaugh distillery based close to the sea, the whisky is shaped by the coastal elements as well as the rolling farmland behind the distillery.

Speaking about the whisky and the win, Dr Barrie said: “Glenglassaugh’s spirit is inspired by the truly unique coastal location. A sip of Sandend awakens the senses, transporting you to the north-east coast where our warehouses stand against the elements.

“On the nose, soft, sweet vanilla is drenched in tropical fruit, with chocolate and a touch of sea salt whilst waves of salted-caramel with a burst of pineapple, cherry and grapefruit awaken the palette.

“Receiving this accolade, and joining such an illustrious list of previous winning expressions, and indeed runners-up, cements our place at the table amongst industry giants. Next year we will be bottling a number of historic releases, dating back to the 60s and 70s, which is incredibly exciting.”

The Glenglassaugh range comprises the Sandend and Portsoy non-age statement whiskies and a 12-Year-Old, with Dr Barrie saying she predicts that Australia will become the number one country for the Glenglassaugh.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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