like the BenRiach company. I enjoy supporting independent distillers, and GlenDronach is very high on my list of favorite distilleries. So I was happy to learn last year that Billy Walker’s BenRiach took over the distillery to take it to the next level. Obviously, all the whisky sold now is pre-walker times, but since last year production has accelerated.
The distillery was mothballed from 1986 to 2008, so stocks are currently either very young or nicely aged (28 years at least). The Torfa is a peated expression with a noticeably young spirit. I have wanted to taste the other Glenglassaugh very young expressions, like the Evolution or the Revival – of which my friend Rani has a bottle. But Rani adamantly refuses to let me have a taste, mumbling something about not pouring his friends anything he doesn’t like. Also, I have read reviews in the past of their “not yet whisky” that were not very complimenting, and as it’s not imported into Israel, I have remained uninitiated into the stuff coming out of that distillery. Until now, when Yoav of Whisky Gospel came over for an evening of drams – and had a sample with of the Torfa, which we promptly poured. I have to admit that I was expecting some really bad whisky. It’s not. Nor is it the amazing stuff you’ll be excited about for the rest of the week. But it’s very drinkable, and at 50% also has some punch to it. I look at it as a harbinger of things to come, especially taking into account that Billy Walker in now at the helm.
Glenglassaugh Torfa (50%, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Light straw in color, quick running legs.
Nose: Young whisky with peat and strong alcohol. I must say that the nose reminds me somewhat of smokehead. Beyond the peat there’s some vanilla sweetness and something earthy. Not much more beyond that…
Palate: Young bite, some new make, honey, vanilla and peat. In fact, the peat is really prominent on the palate. Also, some spices come through, but they haven’t really developed.
Linger: Peaty smokiness with light peppery spice in the back of the throat.
This isn’t “stunning” whisky, but is very drinkable and it has quite a bit of potential. While this expression won’t make my shopping list, it’s also not I’d be disappointed to find under the wrappings of a present. This is a space to follow, as the new stock gets older and the expressions begin getting more interesting (I hope). As for this expression, I hope to revisit it again when I taste the Ardmore Legcey, announced this past week.