Visiting The Glasgow Distillery Co.
Recently, we welcomed The Glasgow Distillery Co. to The Scotch Whisky Experience family. Ali Baxter, our Visitor Experience Manager, along with a few of our visitor experience team, paid them a visit to see how this new distillery operates. Huge thanks to Ali for writing this lovely blog of their visit.
Greeted at Glasgow Queen Street station by glorious sunshine, we headed out west to The Glasgow Distillery. On arrival, Sebastian (Global Marketing Manager) and Libby (Marketing Executive), led us into their new tasting room, adorned with a variety of whisky, rum, vodka and gin, all in The Glasgow Distillery portfolio!
They talked us through the recent history and exciting expansion that has taken place over the last few years, whilst sipping on their Glasgow 1770 Triple Distilled expression. This spirit is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and virgin oak casks. Virgin oak plays a key part at The Glasgow Distillery. (Though more common in the Bourbon whiskey industry, virgin oak casks are casks which haven’t been seasoned with alcohol prior to being used to mature Scotch whisky). There were perhaps a few preconceptions about triple distilled spirit being ‘too light’, but this was quickly abandoned as this whisky was certainly full of flavour, retaining a fresh, fruit sweetness and lighter, more approachable texture.
We then made our way past their sample room to the distillery itself, greeted by Shug, their onsite cooper, who was in the process of repairing an ex-bourbon hogshead. With over 35 years’ experience in the trade, it was great chatting to him and hearing about his apprenticeship when he first started, his work for major drinks giant Diageo, and his love for his job…though not so much for whisky!
Sebastian explained how their three different styles of spirit gets filled into a huge array of casks, giving them options further down the line. We tried the other two thirds of their core range, basking in the glorious Glasgae sunshine.
First was their Glasgow 1770 Original double distilled expression, this again, was matured in ex-bourbon and virgin oak, but was a very different dram altogether to the first. Much richer and more spice coming through with candied fruit, a result of this spirit’s double distillation rather than the lighter Triple Distilled expression we tried first. The double distillation allows for a richer and more textured mouthfeel.
Next, it was our chance to try the heavily peated expression, the winner of many awards, including ‘Best Lowland Single Malt’. BBQ sauce, with an aromatic smokiness and floral undertones, this is a truly special whisky for lovers of smoky drams.
Finally, Sebastian and Libby took us into their new warehouse and gave us the unique opportunity to open some casks of our choosing, and try some not-yet-released limited edition expressions. Shug was back again to show us how to open casks. Of course, these whiskies have yet to be released, so understandably we’re not able to disclose what they were, but what we can say, is that we’re extremely excited for what’s to come from this unique distillery.
Before heading back east to Edinburgh, we sneaked a wee dram at the Pot Still pub and reminisced over our wonderful visit to The Glasgow Distillery!
A massive thank you to Sebastian and Libby for taking the time out to show us around – cannot wait to show our visitors these great whiskies.