Whisky Review – Glenglassaugh Octaves Classic. @glenglassaugh

Glenglassaugh Octaves Classic

44% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£54.42 from Master of Malt 

Summer has been a bit of a whisky free period for me. What with the hay fever being at its height and screwing with my senses, I’ve quite frankly felt a little bit whiskied out. The break is always a good thing as it gives more appreciation on return. And with that lets press on. A new Glenglassaugh expression here. 

Matured in octaves (small capacity casks – meaning larger ratio of wood to spirit – meaning faster maturation) made from the staves of an old cask with the approximate size 1/8th to that of a sherry butt. 


On first pour we have immediately fresh apple intense fruitiness and a touch of wood char. Pencil cases and some summer berry jam. Quite a feisty young nose to begin with, will let it sit for a while. There’s quite a yeasty, bread note after the dram has sat for a while. Almost a real ale character to the aromas. Spiced apples, some mineral notes, chalky. Light pepper, ginger and a hint of cinnamon. There’s also something green, herbal, almost like cress, or a good quality salad. Tomato vines. There’s a lot going on here, quite difficult to pin it all down. Complex. A little more time and it becomes quite perfumed and demandingly sniffable, can nearly bring my nose away from the glass.  


Barley rich, sweet arrival, apple juice, softer fruits mushed up over a bowl of honey drenched porridge. Each sip changes slightly, now it’s fruitier, more intense with Apple, skin and flesh, almost a maturing cider quality, apples in a cider farm fermenting, cinnamon scattered over the top. The mouthfeel is very nicely oily. There is an almost Springbank like dirty oiliness about it, quite unique. Plenty of honey soaked malt in further tastes. Subsequent sips after extra time in the glass are deliciously well balanced, juicy, oily, supple and thoroughly enjoyable. Quite a mentally relaxing, comfort filled feel good factor on this dram. 


Warming, lots of creamy barley, porridge intensity. Fruit fades to jammy aftermath, with gentle sugar sweetness tingling around for a medium length finish. 

Adding water. 

Just a few drops added, I think it’s at perfect drinking strength at 44%. The nose now is more like the initial experience, Apple and oak char, it’s toned down a little as well, less intensive. The palate has lost a little of its oily mouthfeel, has an introduced fizziness, still quite fruit intense and jammy, with some added spice and oak, very pleasant, but less intense. The finish is more oaky, and has a slight bitter note at the very end. This dram is best consumed as presented. 


A beautiful, chilled out dram, very complex whilst being relaxing and rewarding as a nightly sipper. I can see a bottle of this wouldn’t last long at all, it’s very moreish.

Many thanks to Glenglassaugh for the review sample