On the off-chance nothing from BH‘s Christmas gift guides takes your fancy, then we’ve got one more spirited recommendation — award-winning to boot, and just in time for the holidays.
Priced at around $120, and available via quality retailers including Nicks or The Oak Barrel, ‘Sandend’ is the latest whisky expression from Glenglassaugh: a luscious, fruit-filled Scotch that also happens to be 2023’s Whisky Of The Year, as voted on by panelists from Whisky Advocate.
The leading American spirits publication (formally titled Malt Advocate) compiles its top 20 whiskies annually. Reviewers whittle down to this number from a long list of samples that is often several hundred strong; assessing their favourite expressions on the basis of fixed criteria such as quality, value, and availability.
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On all counts, Glenglassaugh Sandend reportedly received “nearly unanimous” praise from Whisky Advocate panellists. In particular, reviewers pointed to the uncanny manner in which this Scotch expression — a relatively recent addition to the brand’s offering — captured “the coastal elements of Glenglassaugh’s signature style” and was “shaped by influences of the surrounding land and sea.”
Dr. Rachel Barrie, also the illustrious Master Blender at Benriach and GlenDronach, is the architect behind this now-award-winning release. A staunch advocate for Glenglassaugh (who was instrumental in its revival after a 20-year-long hiatus), Barrie’s recipe for Sandend marries the influence of multiple cask finishes with the unique terroir of the distillery’s elevated coastal setting.
“A sip of Sandend awakens the senses, transporting you to [Scotland’s] northeast coast,” says Barrie in a prepared statement.
The Master Blender notes that her impressions of this whisky include aromas of tropical fruit, with a touch of salted chocolate; whilst the palate is layered with toffee, cherry, grapefruit and a burst of pineapple.
“Receiving this accolade… cements our place at the table amongst industry giants,” she continues.
“Next year we will be bottling a number of historic releases, dating back to the 60s and 70s, which is incredibly exciting.”