In 1907, only 15 years after the takeover, Glenglassaugh fell silent, and it remained closed until 1931. After a five-year burst of activity, it was closed again from 1936-1960. Before reopening, however, Glenglassaugh was completely overhauled and re-equipped.
It continued in production until 1986 when it was forced to close. The license was returned in 1992 and for a long time it seemed that a revival of the distillery was unlikely. That all changed, though, in 2008, since which time new ownership and management has breathed new life into a distillery many had imagined as permanently moribund.
Highland Distillers (and its parent companies Grant's & Edrington Group) owned the distillery until it was bought by the Scaent Group in August 2008, since when the revival in this little-known distillery's fortunes has been dramatic. Under the experienced eye of managing director Stuart Nickerson, along with Graham Eunson (formerly of Glenmorangie) the distillery began production in November 2008, around which time it also released new bottlings from the aged stock that had been taken over with the distillery. These (necessarily, given the length of time the distillery was out of production) long-aged expressions have gone on to reap instant success, with Gold Medals and two Trophies at the International Wine & Spirits Challenge for Best Cask Strength Malt and Best 40 year-old Malt.
Glenglassaugh was a major contributor to Highland Distiller's blends (including Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Lang's) while under their ownership. Only a handful of official single malt expressions were released before the Scaent group takeover, the most famous of which was the 'Family Silver' bottling released in the late 1990s. A 19yo distillery bottling was extremely popular and there have beena few independent bottlings as well, most of which have been well-received.
Under the new regime headed by Stuart Nickerson, however, there have not only been several highly regarded new aged expressions, as mentioned above, but also some innovative releases of the new spirit distilled since the distillery's revival. Marketed as Single MashPot Still Malt Spirit, 'The Spirit Drink That Dare Not Speak Its Name' is a release of new spirit from a single distillation in March 2009, and has recently been joined by 'The Spirit Drink That Blushes To Speak Its Name', a distillate aged for six months in wine casks to impart a pinkish tinge. Both of these innovative products have been well-received by the industry and copycat products are now beginning to appear as well from other firms and distilleries. It seems that after a patchy, stop-start history including several decades of total silence, Glenglassaugh is now in safe hands and, somewhat surprisingly, at the cutting edge. Hopefully the 21st Century will be kinder to the distillery than the 20th was.
The Glenglassaugh style tends towards fruity, with a sherried sweetness in some expressions.
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