Ep. 53 - Benriach and Glenglassaugh with Rory Glasgow

SCOTCH HISTORY & TASTING // Hear the stories of two 19th Century distilleries every scotch fan should know.

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Show Notes

Back in December, we met Rory Glasgow and had the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history of GlenDronach. Well, Brown-Forman actually owns three Scottish distilleries right down the road from there and so I wanted to bring Rory back to give us the history of those distilleries and do a tasting as well.

And do we have a boat load of whiskies to try. 7 in total. If you're a big fan of heavy robust whiskies, then the coastal distillery of Glenglassaugh wiil fit the bill. If you're more into a diversity of Speyside flavors with nice complex whiskies then Benriach is what you're looking for.

Here are some of the things we'll talk about:

  • The Bens and the Glens
  • Tasting and describing Glenglassaugh Revival
  • Why Glenglassaugh wasn't as famous back in the day
  • The luckiest distillery in Scotland
  • Distilling on the North Sea
  • The history from the Pattison Crash, bread, and blends
  • Tasting and describing Glenglassaugh Evolution
  • Which Ex-Tennessee Whisk(e)y are they using?
  • Tasting and describing Glenglassaugh Torfa peated
  • Mint and peat
  • The personalities of Glenglassaugh, GlenDronach, and BenRiach
  • Massandra Russian wine casks
  • Tasting and describing BenRiach 10 The Original
  • What is meant by original
  • Improved labeling talking about the nuances
  • Tasting and describing BenRiach 12 The Original
  • 1898 the year of 33 scotch distillery
  • The train and Longmorn Distillery
  • Glenlivet ownership
  • Tasting and describing BenRiach Smoky 10
  • The evolution from Curiositas
  • Rum cask abuse
  • The return of the malting floor
  • Tasting and describing BenRiach Smoky 12
  • Wide cuts and short cuts on distillate

Listen to the full episode with the player above or find it on your favorite podcast app under "Whiskey Lore: The Interviews." The full transcript is available on the tab above.

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Drew (00:00:09):
Welcome to Whiskey Lore, the interviews. I'm your host, Drew Hannush, the Amazon bestselling author of Whiskey Lores Travel Guide to Experience in Kentucky Bourbon. And back in December, we had a chance to meet Rory Glasgow, who is with Glenn, Dr. Well, he's also with Brown Foreman, which means that he also knows about the other two Scottish distilleries that they have in their portfolio. And so we're going to get a chance to hear more about Glen Glasso, which is a coastal distillery, and we're going to get a chance to taste three of their whiskeys and talk through them, but also learn a lot about their history. And then we're also going to have a chance to taste Ben, and they are a space eyed distillery, and we're going to learn a little bit about their history as well. And just so you know, most of my interviews are now on youtube.com/whiskey lore.

We're going to make some references to visuals in this podcast. So you can always check out the episode there and make sure that you're subscribed to the YouTube channel because I also do my tasting Tuesday videos out there. And this week I am doing a tasting of yellow roses and doing a talk about the legend of the Yellow Roses of Texas. So you might want to check that out as well. I do that every week, every tasting Tuesday. I do, I do. You name it. I cover the gamut. So that is out there for you. But right now, let's go ahead and get some fantastic background on two scotch distilleries that Scotch fans should definitely know about. And Rory Glasgow is going to walk us through those. Rory, thank you for coming back on and welcome back to the show.

Rory (00:02:03):
Thank you so much. Cheers, ju, thanks for having me back. So as much as I love talking about Glenro, these are probably, especially Glen Glasser, I love talking about because people haven't really heard of this distillery. Perhaps it's one that flies into the radar. So I'm really excited to talk about all the changes that have happened to Ben Reik and all the interesting things that at this perhaps more mysterious distillery that is Glen Glasser. So yeah, Glenro is a bit more of a, it's definitely in the spotlight right now and it has been for a number of years, so we're looking to kind of build up perhaps some of these other ones. So excited to talk about it.

Drew (00:02:37):
Well, and I have seven whiskeys lined up here, so we have plenty to get into and it's going to be great because I did a little pre tastings on some of these, and there's a really wide range of flavors going on in these, so it's not going to get stale and boring between each of these different whiskeys that we're going to jump into.

Rory (00:02:56):
Absolutely not. And you'll see, I mean, even within the distilleries, the variation on expressions and the versatility and robust nature of these distilleries is so amazing. And Glenro not to go back and compare, but Sherry casks phenomenal job. Even some port casks in there. But what we're going to see across both of these ranges at Glenro and Glen Glasser is going to be quite eclectic, quite unique. So yeah, we're going to have a lot of

Drew (00:03:21):
Fun. So one of the things, this is unique for me because for people who may be just getting into drinking scotch, this is the first time that we've been able to talk about a Ben and a Glen <laugh> in the same episode. So I thought it'd be interesting to relate the meanings of these words, because people will talk about scotch whiskeys and they'll say the Glens, because there are so many Glen, Glen, Glaso, Glenro Glen Levit. We can go through a ton of Glens and we can also go through a ton of bends. So kind of give us a little breakdown on these names and how they came about.

Rory (00:04:02):
Yeah, so it is funny, I've heard some funny things from malt drinkers as people are starting their journey. I hear people saying, oh, I only drink Glens and I only drink Bens or whatever. And that to me, I'm like, I don't understand what that means, but I can give you a breakdown on the terminology, is what that means, especially in Galax cost. Yeah, so Ben means hill or mountain. So the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom happens to be in Scotland, and it's called Ben Nevis. So it's the hill of Nevis. And most distilleries, of course the second part will be something denoting to something usually in Gallic, and then that will have a translation. So band meaning Hill or Mountain, Ben Reik obviously being the hill of Reik. Now if you go to Ben Reich and I was just there three weeks ago you wouldn't think, you wouldn't necessarily say it was on a hill but certainly it's not necessarily in a glen either.

Although it is in the Bay Valley, I guess you could say. It certainly is in a wider valley in Bayside. And even the translation, Scott Scalic is now having a kind of resurgence in Scotland, which is really nice. And even I have been trying my hand at it. It's not easy, I have to admit, but I have been inspired by some friends back home that are getting into it, which is great to see that resurgence. But we've even seen a couple of translations of across the years at Ben R as we've kind of evolved. We initially thought it meant the Red Stag, so which sounds lovely, the hill, the Red Stag, very Scottish, quintessential, beautiful kind of misty Mountain side just a kind of glorious red stag standing crowd. But we have changed that to actually go back as we've looked in the records to, Ben actually used to be the site of an old farm.

And even now, if he would've been there is literally a farm against the border of the distillery. And when I was there, they'll rotate it actually. So actually the two times I've been there, there's been pigs, big massive pigs that are there. So there's a big farm there. And so there used to be a farm, like many distilleries, they would've started distilling excess grain obviously notably barley. And so they would've then expanded that out. So it makes sense. And so now we understand means actually diversity and it means that the farm itself would've just rotated whatever they would do crops they would do obviously livestock and have that diverse nature in their farm, which is lovely. Now that we look at Ben Reik, and we'll obviously find this out as we're going through it, but it's a very eclectic and diverse distillery. We do a lot of different styles of caste types of spirit styles as well.

So it all kind of plays into each other, which is quite nice. And then Glen, on the other hand, is a valley. So you've got the bins and the Glens. And so a lot of older distilleries typically tend to go with Glen because especially where you're looking at, the most important thing for distillery is water. And if you are an older distillery and you're building yourself in a valley, you're obviously going to be collecting that runoff water from the hills into the valley then. So you just plunk your little distillery on top of that water source, so it makes sense to name yourself after a glen. And in Glen Glass's sake, Glen Glass actually means the valley off the, and glass is an interesting word because it can mean gray or green. And so it's kind of the green and gray place and it makes perfect sense if you ever get a chance to go there or even look online. Although most of the pictures do a lot of justice online, which is great, but when you go there, it can either be quite overcast because it is a very kind of coastal location. We are right on the North Sea but it's very luscious. It's very kind of just bursting with greenery. So it's perfect gray and green, very literal, and it's the valley off that. So it's a lovely spot.

Drew (00:07:34):
And that's actually a burn, correct? Which is it

Rory (00:07:37):
Is as well, the classic creek burn. Yeah, it is as well. So usually even Glen will note to Theron Burn as well. So they even will get even more specific with this is the actual water source as well. And actually, Glen Glass even used to have an estate called the Glasser estate as well, with the glass of burn running through it. And obviously that then is translated from Gallin to English as green Green. So yeah, these aren't just pluck names out of a hat. They're not marking kind of favorable names. They're, they're all history.

Drew (00:08:09):
So I'm going to put your knowledge to the test. Do you know what Theron Burn was called before it was Theron Burn?

Rory (00:08:17):
Well, oh, I do. I knew, I know it comes from the bound Noon hills and I was just there. And I even have pictures of the water source. And we were talking about this and I am, I'm flagging, do you know the

Drew (00:08:31):
Answer? It's a Fendra burn. Was

Rory (00:08:33):
F the Fendra burn? Yeah. And there's also, yeah, I mean that's even the same case with Glasser. So it's the four dice burn as well, which actually runs, well, I guess when it ran through the glass estate, they then called it the glass of burn. But actually it's the four dice burn that runs into the glass estate. So give or take, you could call it, depending on what you're looking at, you could call it the four dice burn that runs into the glass stream and then out into the ocean. Yeah, I guess the estate would then kind of have their name on it, but yeah, no, you're totally right. And I was there and we were kind of finding the source as when it came out into the open from the hills at Glenro, we were just doing that three weeks ago. And yeah, we were talking about all the other names that we had for it.

Drew (00:09:17):
And then the other would be because mm-hmm the Strath Bay railway used to go by there. So I think a Glen, isn't it kind of like a deeper valley, whereas a Strath is a wider valley,

Rory (00:09:31):
Wider Strath Bay Valley, which if you go to Bayside, you'll see that you've obviously got very kind of wet, doesn't really, well, I mean it feels like a valley at some points, but it's very, very white. Yeah, absolutely.

Drew (00:09:43):
Okay, so we have lots of whiskey to taste here, so

Rory (00:09:47):
I think we should start right.

Drew (00:09:48):
Let's jump right in on, let's do it Glen Glasso. And you turn me onto these guys with the last interview and I had to go out and buy a bottle of Toin. So we'll get to that. That'll be the third because that's that's going to be ped. And so we have one ped expression and then we're going to go first and start with revival, which is very interesting name. How long has this whiskey been around and what kind of barrels are we using for this?

Rory (00:10:20):
So the name itself denotes to, so Glen Glasser will obviously get into the timelines and the history and all that but I do want to get cracking into this whiskey. But to give you the quick synopsis for this one Glen Glasser was closed for a long time. It was closed from the 1980s up into 2008 when it reopened. So this was the first expression that we actually released was Glen Glasser revival. And so quite confusing. Now if you're listening to the Glenro podcast or no Glenro, that we obviously have a revival in our portfolio at Glen John but we also, I mean it makes a lot of sense for Glen Glasser as well as Glenro. But revival meaning that we revived the distillery back to life in 2008. So this was the first Expre expression that came out. The distillery if you're looking on the video, you'll see it has a lovely kind of Redish hu here denoting to perhaps some of the barrels are going into some of the casks.

So we are actually using a combination of bourbon and red wine casks now. We initially, I believe, used Rioja red wine casks. We then moved to, I think French bordeaux red wine casks, and then we actually rack that X bourbon and X red wine casks into all, or also Sherry butts for a further maturation. So really it's three casks that we're using in this one. And it's funny where you look at where Glasser is on the map, it really does, and especially when you look at comparison to the whiskey regions, although space ed can be a little bit inflated or quite constricted depending on what map you're looking at it it really does. Glen Glass straddles that highland and space side border. It's got one foot in the space ed region, one foot in the Highlands. And I feel like the revival really is more of the style leaning towards the highlands. We'll find with the evolution, which we'll get to later, is more leaning towards space side. So this is going to be a bit rich, robust. And those casks, again, are going obviously impart lots of flavor, lots of color into that whiskey. So let's got it there. I can see. So let's give us a nose

Drew (00:12:13):
And I mean, this one is where the sherry comes right out to me. Yes, the raisins, I get that I got cinnamon roll out of this, which I kind of like the, there's sweetness in these that is it's almost candy, but it's not, it's not sickly sweet. It's just a very nice, would you call it a dessert whiskey in a way.

Rory (00:12:38):
So you're right, I think you're spot on when you say, because I don't like talking about a spirit style being sweet, but I think England glasses term, I think it makes a ton of sense because it really is quite sweet, almost confectionary. And it's funny you say that because with my job, I work a lot on the marketing for these single malts. So we look at trying to bring fun ways to taste these. And for Glenn Glass, I actually put together a program called A Whiskey Shaped by Land and Sea, which was me trying to bring Scottish flavor to these whiskeys and trying to, especially for an American audience, trying to experience some traditional Scottish foods. And one of them was the confectionary. So we had tablet, sea salt, caramel, and some shortbread and fuse with mint for these whiskeys. And this paired really well with sea salt caramels. So it does actually pair well with confectionary because it is quite a sweet style spirit. Yeah.

And yeah, absolutely right, dried fruits coming out of there, definitely from the olive cask. But certainly that sweetness almost comes through as a caramel note again, hence why we paired it with a caramel. Yeah, butcher scotch kind that were there original note coming through there. And then you kind of get those hints of red fruit coming through. And that's certainly from that red wine cast, the tannins, you start to pick up on the palate as well when you taste this. So let's go ahead and give us a, we taste. So sung for the first Dr.

Drew (00:14:01):
Oh man, these are really nice when they hit the pallet, I mean

Rory (00:14:07):
They really are,

Drew (00:14:09):
There's a lot of fruit. I get a little citrus, I get grape in there. It seems to come through for me. It was the first time when I tasted one that I kind of went, well, hey, you know what? I sort of sense melon in there. It has,

Rory (00:14:23):
Yeah, fresh fruit.

Drew (00:14:24):
Yeah, very, very absolutely interesting.

Rory (00:14:27):
The mouth fuel, particularly on all of these whiskeys is so viscous. It's quite oily, it's rich, it's full bodied. And this really plays into the history as well as well to why Glen Glasson maybe wasn't quite as famous as we would like to be nowadays because it is quite a rich and robust spirit. So blenders back in the day found it quite difficult to use this in. They had to use it quite sparingly purely because it was going to influence a blend if you were adding a lot of this in. So only minute amounts were going into blends, which wasn't great for the distillery. So it's great that the single mo market has picked up because we're able to enjoy this spirit in its isolation, which is so nice. I had to, and

Drew (00:15:08):
I was going to say I'd laugh because I was doing research on this a little bit ahead of time to learn something about the distillery. And I read that they said that here's a problem we would love to have today, but back then they said it's too complex, so it's no good to us. They couldn't put in blends.

Rory (00:15:28):
That's it, plagued. It really did. And we'll get into that. I think Glenn Glass has been known as a number of things throughout the years, but the luckiest distillery in Scotland is one thing that you'll see written by some prolific whiskey writers in their books and writings. And it really does make sense because we're lucky to still here today because a lot of distilleries that, again, you would think brilliant problem to have, right? You've got powerful, great tasting whiskey, rich and robust. But back in the day when blending was the name of the game and that's how distilleries made their money, that was, you'd have that solid foundation of contracts. Glen Glasser just struggled throughout its lifetime really until recently to make whiskey that was appealing to the masses. So now we are making single malt and that's obviously being picked up by people and they're able to taste it once again.

But one thing as well, we'll find this across the range, but it comes through I think in the contrasting sweet notes that you get in Glenn Glass Revival is because we are coastal distillery, we are very small and this goes through all three distilleries. But certainly in Glenn Glass's case, because we are coastal distillery, we do mature on site. So we do get this. And when you're at the distillery, it is windy. I mean, when we even get into some of the history about there was even windmills that were constructed in that area cause it was such a windy area. So you're getting the North Sea coming straight in, the warehouses are there, the rack warehouses, the Dun warehouses, and they are getting ventilated by that sea air. So you are getting this kind of imparting off this almost salinity, contrasting the sweetness, giving you sea salt caramel almost in these whiskeys. And it is lovely. It is. And you're getting on this, the tannins coming from the red wine cast as well, picking up that savoriness and just running with it. It is such a glorious whiskey for people looking in into get and something different.

Drew (00:17:14):
It's very peppery too on the finish. And is that coming from the malt?

Rory (00:17:19):
So it's actually a young whiskey as well. I mean, we shouldn't forget that there is no age on the three whiskeys that we have at Glen Glasson, our core range. So that's revival evolution. And there is no age on these. We're not hiding anything at all. It was purely because, and actually the second whiskey, we'll try along the way from Glen Glasser's evolution, and this really could be used for all three expressions, but we, well, Billy Walker back in the day when he released these whiskeys, and we'll get into the timelines soon enough, but he expected these whiskeys to evolve each time they were vatted and bottled. So they really have changed. And even my experience, I worked in a Edinburgh called the Canny Mans for about six years, and we had a bottle off revival on our shelf. And even Stranger, actually now our global head of advocacy for the single malts, he is a man that is based in Edinburgh and he actually used to live along the road from the pub that I worked at and the day that Billy Walker bought the distillery Douglas Cook, who's been working with Billy Walker on the kind of marketing and sales side of things.

He came into the pub and actually cracked the bottle off Glenn Glass Revival. And I was the one serving him and little as I know I would be, it is a crazy small world whiskey industry. But yeah, I only just found that out three weeks ago and he was like, yeah, you must be the one that I came in and cracked the bottle on. And that has dramatically changed because that was one of the first bottlings off Revival. And since then is just gotten older and older and older and it goes for all three of the expressions. E Glen Glass, because the distillery was reopened in 2008. We're obviously working with nuMe spirit. We had a lot of older vintages that Highland Distillers sold to private group of investors. And Stuart Nickerson, who then was bought by Billy Walker, who then took it over. So there's a lot of vintage stock and older stock at Glen Glasser that they kind of used to sell off to obviously get some money for repairing the distillery because it wasn't pretty bad shape when they got it in 2008 because it hadn't been open since the 1980s essentially.

So a lot of that money was going into repairs and they're obviously looking at getting set up and running with making new me. So yeah, the Pepperiness certainly does come from it's youth, but my God, it really does for being, I mean the revival, depending on the bottling date, which will be lasered in the back off your bottle, I have a 2019 bottling, so we're probably looking at this being coming up to, I mean, almost the kind of looking at eight, nine years old possibly with these whiskeys now. So we are getting very close to I can a 10 year old now with these expressions, depending on the bottling date. This

Drew (00:19:58):
Is 22 really young. So

Rory (00:19:59):
You have a 2022 there. Yeah, well there you go. You've got the oldest one on the bunch. Yeah. So that, again, they've all evolved. Will

Drew (00:20:08):
They have an age statement at some point?

Rory (00:20:10):
I was just going to say, so that yeah, is alluding to potentially, we're getting to the point now where there are things happening in the background where we might start seeing some movement on Glen Glass because well, obviously getting to Ben Re, but that's undergone quite a big major facelift and rebranding and new portfolio for the core range and things. So I think next in line will be Glen Glass to get a little bit of attention, which I just can't wait because if anyone's tried Glasser, whether it's the core range or even some of the older stock that has been very, I think really made a name for itself in the private bottling arena. People really got to know Glen Glasser that way. It is just amazing stuff, whether it's old or whether it's young, the spirit itself is just so complex and again, to its hindrance back in the day for blending purposes, but for single malt outstanding. So I think this is the sleeping Giant right now in our portfolio of three distilleries. So I can't wait to see what happens with this distillery.

Drew (00:21:06):
So let's talk about, first of all, where the distillery is, because as you mentioned, it's up on the North Sea and it's kind of away from everything else. I drove up there and the way I got there was I was coming back from Aberdeen, and so I just decided to go along the north coast and that's when I saw it. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go in because it was a Sunday morning, but beautiful drive there along gorgeous the shore. But like I say, it's a little bit, it's north of Elgan and below Elgan is where all of the other space side distilleries are. And so it's a little bit out of the way. Has it always been out of the way or do you know if there was a distilling activity up there besides that? Up in that area?

Rory (00:21:53):
There was interestingly, and actually this is just, I'm not to promote a book here, I can't remember where I put it down now, but there's a lovely book Eaten by, written by Ian Buxton who writes, it's called Glen Glasser Distillery Revived and it really is a great book about the whole history. And he does talk to about some records that they were able to get their hands on way back. There was a distillery company mentioned called the Port Soy Distilling Company in 1800 that was, I think in the Edinburgh advert advertiser, which was denoting to a distiller that would've been in, which is about about less than a couple of miles away from the distillery. It's very, very close. And then even actually a distillery that was then locally known as the Bacher Distillery. There's the last record I think we have of that distillery in particular was in I think the nine 1830s which actually ties in very nicely tickling glasses history as well.

So that's kind of the one, I guess, official distillery that we have. But of course there was lots of illicit distillation going on in that area because lots of farming going on even now actually where you would've seen it, all the love leaf barley fields that's up in that area, it's very agriculturally driven, and actually even lots of maltsters in that area as well. So in Bucky there is, and another maltings actually there as well, and that is where we get our malt for Glen Glass up and rig. And so yeah, certainly it was like a prime spot proven water source, whether it was legal or illicit distillation. And of course the barley was there as well. But interestingly, the distillery that I spoke about there, the Port Soy Distilling Company, so our founder for Glen Glasser is a chap named Colonel James Moyer, and he was, gosh, when I describe him as a local entrepreneur, he was also a philanthropist as well.

So he really did a lot in the local area. He was known as being well, he actually I think was a representative for the north of Scotland banking group, so he was representative there. He brought banking up into that area, was really the head of commerce for that particular area in the northeast of Scotland. He brought the railways up into baster. So he was really kind of accredited with passing parliamentary acts to then expand the railways up there and then hitting west he even owned a merchant shop as well where he stocked wine and liquors. I think he even had his hand as well in, what was I reading recently? It was something to do with Peruvian guano or something he was bringing in because he had a lot of to do with farming and agriculture, so a lot of manure stocks that he was working with as well.

So really a jack of all trades. It really had he was kind of the life and soul off that area of Scotland. And because he was dealing with commerce, because he was dealing with merchants for selling wine and liquors, he probably would've sold a lot of that whiskey that would've been at that point in the 1830s for the Portside Distilling company. And because he was in commerce in banking, he probably had an understanding as to why that distillery didn't work. So when he set the distillery up for Glen Glasser in 1875, he probably had a good idea of what to do and what not to do. So he set it up along with his two nephews and a coppersmith as well. And he placed it right perched on this lovely, I don't want to say cliff face, but it really is perched up high. I mean, you would've seen it from the beach. I dunno if you ever got done to the beach, that is sand envy.

Drew (00:25:21):
I didn't, is port soy the town that has the large, almost aqueduct looking bridge that goes across it. I'm trying to remember what town I was in that I saw that. Oh, aqua, it's bridge going across it. It's just a really tall bridge. It's not an aqueduct, but I mean, just sort of reminded me of that, because you come driving over the hill going west, and all of a sudden you're like in this town and then you see this huge bridge off in the distance.

Rory (00:25:47):
Oh gosh, I think I know what bridge you're talking about, but I think it is in that area. Yeah, port soy is right down the, I think it's about 2.2 miles away from Glen Glass, if I'm correct. So it could be that bridge. I'm not entire sure. I actually do forget if they've got a bridge or not. But yeah, so he essentially looked at placing the distillery where there had been proven water supplies and water actually welcome into, I dunno if you looked into this in your research, but water was one of the attributing reasons as to why Quin Glasser had a tough time throughout of its existence, which we can talk about in a little bit. But where we're approached is lovely, right on this kind of a top of this, not quite a cliff, but facing the North Sea and facing the lovely sand end bay.

It's a lovely beach. It's actually very popular with surfers. If you can imagine it in Scotland, you'd be wearing two layers there if you're going out there in a wetsuit. But people do do it. And again, just talking about our warehouses facing that north sea breeze, we will get some of that impact from the North Sea coming in. But yeah, actually, let's just talk about the water actually, because I guess we're kind of all tailing into yeah, this, yeah, what makes a distillery, so back then, I guess in the 18 hundreds, certainly into the later part of the 18 hundreds, the most important thing for distillery was the water. And if you ever look at kind of old records of why distilleries didn't work or why they were closed or why they never really got off the ground, it was usually attributed to the water source, was what most people would've said.

Now, of course, with science, we know that it's a lot to do with your fermentations, a lot to do with wood management and your warehouse how you're distilling of course as well makes a huge impact on your spirit style. So water was really for just obviously thinking about what's going in as the primary ingredient here. Almost water was seen as being the most important part. And of course it is important, you want to have good water, we know that. But it has been kind of popped down in terms of the ranking of what is the most important things for distillery. But Glen Glasser, where we are, that water is essentially coming back in the highlands and it's traveling all the way down until it exits into the North Sea Ocean at Sandin Bay. So we're collecting that water source at its absolute peak minerality. And so that was really the attributing reason as to why Glen Glasser had this really unusual characteristic of being very luscious.

And we didn't quite pick it up in the revival, but we certainly will in the evolution. It is very tropical and a lot of that was placed on the water just having this mineral density. And certainly we can talk to it now as being potentially a reason. Everything makes a difference. But certainly that was really heavily scrutinized as being the water and blenders, like we said before, sparingly used it in blends. And so Glen Glasser was well loved by the industry. I think when people think about a distillery not getting a lot of love, Glasser certainly did have a lot of love. People really respected it, but they just could not use enough of it for it to sustain the costs of production. And so it was open, it was running, it had contracts it was fairly successful when it was open. But we talked about this with Glen, and we'll talk about it with Ben Reek.

All the distilleries, especially around that time period, would've had to deal with the blow that was the Pat's crash and the turn of the century going into the year 1900. And so Glen Glasser held on till 1907, and unfortunately it was closed. And actually at that point it moved from, obviously Colonel James Meyer would've passed away at this point, and his nephews very quickly sold it to another chap who then very quickly moved it onto and sold it to Highland Distillers which of course would then go on to be bought by Edgington in 1999. But Highland Distillers saw fit to close it 1907 strangely for the war effort in World War II became a bakery which is quite interesting. We don't have much history on what happening, what was happening during that time. I

Drew (00:29:44):
Wonder if it would be ped bread.

Rory (00:29:46):
I know, right? Smokey bread trips. And

Drew (00:29:49):
It makes sense because you're already dealing with grain.

Rory (00:29:53):
Absolutely, of course. Yeah, it makes sense. You've got pretty much half the thing you need to make. Yeah bread. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, exactly. So we're milling, we're we're malting as well, so it makes sense. Yeah, we're dealing with grain. And actually as well, back in, oh, mid 18 hundreds, there was a, I dunno if you saw it when you were there, did you see a big stone looking kind of structure? It doesn't look, I've seen a

Drew (00:30:19):
Windmill. I seen, I've seen pictures of it. Yeah, it kind of, right, it's a circular thing. It's a almost like a jug out in the middle of the, is that what you're talking about?

Rory (00:30:26):
Yes. So it's locally known as a cup and saucer, which was back in the day would've been, there would've been a wooden structure on top of that, which would've housed all the gears and the windmill itself. But obviously that base foundation was all made of stone. So yeah, I mean, literally there was lots of agricultural, obviously that mill was well gone by that point for the war. So weren't obviously using that with the inclusion of steam power and coal and all that coming into play. But yeah that's a real historic relic that we have on site at the distillery and some really fascinating history with that as well. That doesn't quite tie into the distillery, but certainly, yeah. Yeah, it's pretty

Drew (00:31:05):
Cool. Well, what is the age are there any of the buildings there that date back to that 1875 date, or has a lot of it been reconstructed?

Rory (00:31:15):
A lot of it has been reconstructed, but some of the old stone brick buildings, I mean, most of it is done. I mean, if you drove in, you'll see there's quite a defined difference between the old stone brick buildings. And there was kind of late 1950s going into the 60, well, it was built in the 1958, I think it was, when they finished that going into the 1960s, this kind of classic fifties concrete looking building. And it has this kind of, it's actually very lovely. I mean, it was very well built. But I think to maybe our eye now, when it comes to distillers, we love the old brick stone. But when it comes to that 19 50 0 building I think they tried their best given the architectures at the time, but they kind of have this lovely slanted roof that looks like waves on top of the building.

But it's a very definite difference there in the style of architecture. But there are some older buildings that date back to the earlier period off the distillery. So some of those kind of central stone buildings absolutely, certainly would've dated back to those times. And it was a big distillery. If you ever look at some of the older pictures, the distillery goes all the way down almost to the, not quite to the water, but it does go all the way down the hill. But now we don't even know actually what happened to those buildings. Some of those warehouses, floor malting, they would've been lost to possibly fire, possibly disrepair, possibly just scaling back of the distillery and then just letting go into disrepair and then eventually just demolished. So yeah, gun glasses, I think with, of course, having the funds that Brown Foreman brings as being the parent company. Now, hopefully we can start to get some more research into the historical findings at Glen Glass and get some more of that stuff paved out because it would be great to know more about this quite elusive distillery. Yeah, we do know some bits, but good to know more. So

Drew (00:32:56):
If it came back around 1960 and it was owned still by Highland Distillers it, what blends would we have been going into? Famous Grouse, I think was one that they owned,

Rory (00:33:10):
Actually, I actually don't, yeah, famous Grouse, certainly. I don't know. We don't actually have records of what blends or I've never been made aware of what blends that Glen Glasser went into. But the same problem persisted, and actually in this time period when it was open from the sixties it probably did make it into some blends, but it still struggled and it still struggled to, and actually they tried to, I guess tame is maybe the word I'm going to use here, tame Glen Glasser. which is great that it's untamed now. Yeah, exactly. Cause you're seeing the benefits of it. But they tried to tame it in so many funny ways. It's a great case study for seeing how difficult it can be to be a distillery that just has a very unique profile. So the owners at the time, Highland, they owned Glen Rothes was one of the distilleries that was fairly close by that they were obviously having quite a lot of success with that's been used in blends throughout his time.

And so they actually started bringing water from Glen Glass's source to, sorry, from Glen Rothes source and space side to Glen Glass to run that through production, see if that would change it. It did have some changes. And they were like, well, this is not sustainable. We can't be bringing water all the way from Glen Rothes to Glen Glass, so why don't we take the mash from Glen Glasser and we'll ferment that at Glen Rothes. So they were trying all these different things, <laugh> running, Glen Rothes washed through the stills at Glen Glasser, and they were like, well, yes, no, sometimes this doesn't work. Sometimes it does work. This is kind of what we want, also, not what we really want. This is not sustainable. And that was kind of what played Glen Glasser, was that it, if the single malt market had been what it is today, back then, Glen Glasser would've had a field day but sadly, it wasn't.

And so it just got closed and it got closed in 1986 or so. And so it was fairly sad. And again, it just could not find its niche in the marketplace, especially in blends. But a lot of older vintages were kept by the distillery, kept by Highland distillers, and that was kind of slowly drip fed into the private bottling arena. And people slowly got to know, I mean, I say slowly, people don't really know what Glasser is, if you've lucky enough to try some of that older, vintage, older stock, phenomenal stuff. It really is. And it kind of peaked people's awareness off the distillery. So going on from then, it was closed obviously for a couple of decades until we had 2008 roll around. And again, if you're reading that book by in Buxton, he's a consultant, he's kind of like a, writes a lot about whiskey, does a lot of marketing for distilleries.

He meets up with a man named Stuart Nickerson, who's a master distiller, but at that time was being a consultant. He essentially is working, Stuart Nickerson is working with investors, I think from Russia. They were in some sort of Russian energy kind of area, and they were really into their single malts, and they really wanted to revive an old distillery. And at that time in Scotland, 2000, 2008, a lot of people were throwing money into distilleries because obviously we're starting to see this rise and this boom. But a lot of people were not surviving. It takes not only a lot of money to buy distillery, it's an incredible investment that you have to constantly be injecting money to get it up and running, to create that stock, to leave that stock, to sit on that stock and then eventually release it just a lot. So a lot of people were flopping, were going in there thinking they could do it.

So it was quite a kind of interesting time for the scotch whiskeys industry. But Glen Glasser, I think these guys were really, really committed and Highland distillers, especially at that time, they wouldn't have just given they, they'd actually vet apparently who they sell to. They really do want to make sure that this distillery, any distillery they sell is going into the hands of someone that will, one, pay for it, also be able to maintain it, also be able to actually just constantly give it the injection money and love. The actually needs to get going. So they were clearly vetted by Highland Distillers. They got the sale shirt, Nickson got to work first couple of years, were really just trying to sell some of that older stock to refurbish the distillery and build it back to his former glory because there were holes in the Dun.

There were some copper missing from some of the pieces because some people had gotten in there and cut pieces out, sold it for scraps. So it was in a very sorry state back in that time. But it has gone from strength to strength. And now, well, 2008, we see it kind of come onto the scene in 2009. Stuart SSON releases some spirit that is just essentially new me spirit. Some of it was aged for six months, some of it was ped, some of it was Unpeated had some quirky names as well, like the spirits whose name we shall not say, and things like that. Interesting. But it was just giving a little peek into what Glasser was going to be and even that stuff, have you ever find that it came in kind of like half size bottles and they were sold in a three pack and they were fantastic tasting spirit. It wasn't whiskey, but it was to then be whiskey of course, as well.

Drew (00:38:10):
So if you see the bottles of 30 and 40 year old, those are from the Highland distillers days. Those

Rory (00:38:16):
Are, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay. So that's not from Brown, not from Billy Walker day's shirt, Nickerson's

Drew (00:38:21):
Not. So you're basically tasting a single malt that nobody else even then was tasting because they were still trying to make these things work for blends. And so what happened with these barrels? They just sat in this warehouse unattended, or we had a security guard standing by just to make sure nobody, I mean, had at

Rory (00:38:43):
All, there was a security guard. I know I had the same question because obviously when you've got people going in and cutting chunks of copper out of your mash turn and things like that, you're like, well, who's there to stop them? But there was a security guard on call there throughout the years, and that's a long period to have a security guard to be going around. But yeah, I mean, probably just one guy going around just making sure everything's okay and sharing a flashlight in. But a lot of those casts would've sat in the warehouse. A lot of them maybe moved as well to other areas just to keep them safe as they matured. Because I mean, obviously that's just a prize spot for people coming in and siphoning some whiskey out. But yeah, under locking key. But like I said, some of those Dun warehouses were not in a good state.

There were, like I said, the roof was collapsed, so they had to rebuild the entire roof. And so I'm sure the whiskey wasn't sitting in that area, but more of a secure spot and they probably had to move it around if it wasn't disrepair. Yeah it has come around. When you go there, I, if you go back, I hope you do go back to Glen Glasser and we'll try and get you in when it's open. But it's amazing. It really is a phenomenal distillery. And of course it ties into the rest of the distilleries that Glenro and Ben Reik. Billy Walker is set up the Ben Reik distilling company in the early two thousands. He buys Glen drunk in 2007. He then buys Glen Glasser in 2013, and he starts releasing Wi Whiskey from that distillery. So now it's of age. I think revival at this point, at that point was already really out. Just hit the shelves. Billy Walker buys it and then we start releasing other whiskeys like evolution, and then Tofa comes out as well. So

Drew (00:40:19):
If you were tasting the stuff that he released, the new stuff has to be completely different. I mean, it has to be. Yeah. I mean, because it's had so much more time in the cask now, so it's getting full influence.

Rory (00:40:33):
Totally different it real, oh gosh, yeah. Let's do a evolution actually. Yeah, we're talking about the spirit style, and this is going to be one that will really give you a good idea of what the spirit style is. And again, this is going to be more leading towards that space side style as opposed to the revival, which is more of that highland style. So expect lots of fruit from this.

Drew (00:40:53):
So this is funny because power of suggestion initially when I started reading the bottle, it said that it has a barrels used to a X Tennessee whiskey. So my first thought on it went to, well, brown Foreman, I know which distillery this is, but then I thought, wait, this was before Brown Foreman ownership. So when I was nosing it, I was like, am I getting that Flintstone vitamin smell? It's like my brain was throwing me towards a George Dickel kind of a smell. Yeah.

Rory (00:41:31):
So there is a combination. I mean, obviously we should all assume those casks now are coming from Jack Daniels now. Yeah, the Crown Foreman distillery owns both those distilleries. But certainly when you go into the warehouse back then, it would've been a combination of jack casks and most likely possibly Dickel casks as well, because you were just buying whatever you can get your hands on. Really.

Drew (00:41:54):
It's nice to see them working together.

Rory (00:41:57):
I know, absolutely. I know it's the only time that would ever really happen. Yes. But yes, you're right though. There is a real kind of minerality to that. And there's also that real, and there's a lot of fruit in here that we can talk about. But the first thing that I really get going on in here, and this was a pairing that I actually did, and if you're ever at home and trying this banana foster ice cream is what I really get. Oh, okay. Is vanilla bean? Yeah, it is tropical fruits. And you're really getting into, you can get deeper into that. You can go mango papaya, but really banana pops out. And of course, that's a classic Tennessee whiskey note there. Yeah,

Drew (00:42:30):
Exactly. Well, and that was part of why I wondered if I'm like, I'm getting one, but I'm getting the other at the same time, because the banana was really strong. And so my brain was starting to say, no, you're not. This is just power of suggestion pulling it in. But I mean, it does have kind of somewhere between a creme brulee, meats banana, kind of a note to it that really, really nice.

Rory (00:42:54):
It really is. It's fresh as well. It's quite, again, citrusy, but not in the lemon aspect. It's more of that almost pineapple, almost mango that can allow Very

Drew (00:43:05):
Tropical, yes,

Rory (00:43:06):
Very tropical. Very lush and quite oily as well. And I will say that this, actually, this was the last release, so it went revival tofa evolution. So this is actually going to be the youngest out of the trio. I dunno what bottling date you have there. I think mine is coming in at, let's see what we've got here, 2017. So this is actually fairly young whiskey. You're probably looking at maybe five years old six years old, with this whiskey give or take, depending on the bottling, of course. And so again, this is why we called it evolution, because we knew that all of these expressions, including this one, would evolve over time every time we've added it, every time we bottled it. And that is a testament to the quality of spirit. If you can drink something that is exclusively aged in one cast, so you're not kind of hiding the spirit from the consumer with CAS types and all that, this is bare bones, Glen Glasser, this is essentially what is an ex bourbon barrel.

It's an American whiskey cask. Of course, we do say that there is exclusively Tennessee cask, which does give you a little bit more idea of where these flavors are coming from. But there's no hiding in there. You have to have a good spirit. And the fact that that is drinkable at 50% abb mm-hmm. A hundred proof, there's very few single malts that could do one cast type a hundred proof, and at that age, that young age point and still be enjoyable. I mean, of course we can enjoy it and we can appreciate whiskeys that are perhaps that young. We can appreciate where it's going to go and how it's going to be. But for what it is that Glen Glasser evolution is just phenomenal.

Drew (00:44:38):
I was reading too, that it seems like they apparently had a higher proof on it initially, because I saw someone who had it at 57%. Yes.

Rory (00:44:47):
I think the earlier bottlings that, cause it even had a different label as well, there was kind of a green label that then had, I think it was a yellow bar running along the bottom that said evolution. And now we've kind of gone with this kind of gray scale label there with a cask in the background overlooking the ocean. And yeah, it would've been maybe perhaps a, I think it was a slightly higher a V back then. So again, that's full confidence, right? Yeah. You could even go higher than 50. And Aer, that's that's impressive.

Drew (00:45:18):
Well, that was the first one too, that, besides the next one that I caught that kind of briny saltiness too. It and it's on the finish, it's like it definitely

Rory (00:45:28):
Is. After

Drew (00:45:29):
You've been sitting there, you go, oh yeah, it does. I'm getting that kind of sea influence in there, which is really nice. It's unexpected. It's unexpected. If somebody's a I mean, I've had poltney and old PNY is briny all the way from beginning to finish. And so to have it kind of sneak in there at the end is a really interesting way for it to go

Rory (00:45:54):
Pick it right in the back of the tongue. It's on the, it's right in the back left and right side as well. And it is strange because again, we said this before, but it is quite a sweet style the glen glass of make. So to go from that very viscous, oily, sweet note, and then suddenly you get this little kind of hint of sea, the salinity, this brownness it is really interesting. So again yeah, I'm so excited. I'm so excited to see what this distillery does and what direction it goes in because so far the whiskey that we've created is just so good. And so once we get of age, it will be fantastic. Yes.

Drew (00:46:26):
Yeah. So now this is the one

Rory (00:46:27):
You got,

Drew (00:46:28):
Have you, this is the one that, yeah, it's like I got to get there. Yes. I was mentioning before we started recording that I bought this about three weeks ago, four weeks ago. And if you look at my bottle, it is it's at the halfway point. And it's very unusual for me to just really hooked on a whiskey and look at my shelves and go, Nope, nope, I want this one tonight. I want this one tonight because this one, to me, from nose to finish for somebody who loves ped whiskey this one just fits because it's got that got the peach, you've got a little brininess to it. It's not medicinal. So for those people who maybe turn their nose at ilo whiskey because it's medicinal, this is more like a foresty kind of a smoke that comes to this. And the caramel is so nice in this, it is definitely a rich, I called it a salted caramel whiskey when I first tasted it a nice smoky caramel whiskey. And I thought that was everything that if you handed it to somebody and you wanted them to have that know what they were about to be tasting, that would kind of nail the top end of this.

Rory (00:47:51):
It does. It ticks all the boxes and what I want for Peter whiskey sometimes I do want that really medicinal coastal kind of classic island note. But this is, I think, perfect for people that are maybe new to Pete or have maybe smell or tried and been put off by Isla Isla styles that can be really aggressive. Like you said, this isn't medicinal, this isn't that. And again, this isn't a knock at all, but that kind of medicinal bandaid, iodine note, yeah, that we typically associate with Isla whiskeys. Again, not all are like that, but that's kind of classic style that we expect from that. This is wood-based Pete. This is, and we will get to this with Ben, which is, again, it's a space side distillery, very close to Glen Glass that makes Pete whiskey. But in my opinion, the Tofa is probably the best representation of what Highland Pete is.

It is not offensive. It is things that we know and love. It's bonfires, campfires, it's wood burning stoves. It's bonfires on the beach. It really is just such a beautiful whiskey. And then the sweetness coming on top of that takes away from the aggressive nature that you might have with some peed whiskeys. It adds in that caramel. We're using bourbon and some sherry casks in this, so lovely sweet notes, vanilla nos. You're getting smoked vanilla bean coming through there. And then of course, that caramel note as well that you're talking about. Yes. And the fruit's all there as well. If you dive a little deeper, you do almost get that kind of fruit salad syrup. It's almost like combination and it almost has that kind of gummy nature as well. And they find that in the evolution, and you find it in the tofa, it's almost like, yeah, campfire fruit salad, which sounds bizarre, but yeah, it's that. It's that thing that's

Drew (00:49:36):
There, but it's so buttery. I get little bacon notes in there and then the fullness of it. And then what's interesting is that when it first gets on your pallet, the smoke really isn't the first thing that I notice, but it evolves so beautifully. It's like it just rolls right in there and completes the experience, and then it just lingers with the, it's like it's, you're wandering through a forest holy does. Oh yeah. After you're done, it's amazing. And there is kind of a right, there's sort of that I get sort of that apple stone fruit kind of a thing going on in there, and it's it, it's there, but you kind of have to hunt for it a

Rory (00:50:18):
Little bit. You do have to get through the initial kind of caramel, buttery. I think buttery is a great descriptor for these whiskeys especially. And actually, this is why I mentioned I had kind of a pairing program where it was kind of pairing up Scottish confectionary items. This any petted whiskey really actually goes well with mint. Mint just kind of livens the P up and it just changes smoke to being almost like fresh embers. It's a very, not intense, it's not making it more tense certainly, but it's freshening that smoke cup and mint infused shortbread, which obviously is very buttery in its nature and sweet that is so good with this whiskey. It is gorgeous stuff or smoked salmon or any sort of seafood. This is phenomenal with, it is just such a great whiskey. And again, it's 50%, yeah, it's not old. It's young spirit and petered whiskey and spirit typically tends to be a bit more aggressive on the younger side anyway, but gentle, buttery, creamy, these are all descriptors that I would attribute to the Tofa. And

Drew (00:51:22):
So what do you think that in terms of the three distilleries, we talked about this a little bit during ther episode, but we see Ben R as maybe more the experimental side. Where would we put Glasso? Is this something that when Dr. Rachel Berry comes in and she's looking at it, she's going, again, here's another one that has its own personality. Let's not mess with it too much and just maybe enhance it here or there.

Rory (00:51:54):
Certainly from the single CAS releases, we have seen some really eclectic stuff. And actually being back there three weeks ago, there is just a real range of cast types that Glen Glasser has that some people might know about if Glen Glass a well. But I think from what we've even seen here, we've seen bourbon sherry and we've seen obviously even Tennessee whiskey casks and red wine casks. So there's some cool stuff going on there. But in the Warehouse we have octaves, we have Mustand casks, which I dunno if you've ever heard of Aand casks, but from this was from back when it was reopened in 2008, 2009, we had those Russian investors that were kind of revived. The distillery with Stuart Nickerson. They were able to get their hands on Crimean wine casks. And so Sandra is essentially a kind of denotes to, and actually it was funny, I was doing a tasting with a journalist who happened to be from the former U S S R, and she was saying, oh yeah, Ms.

Sandra, I know what that is. And she explained essentially this was wine that was made in the crea, it was Sherry style, it was porch style, it was Madeira style, and it was all kind of these fortified wines that you legally couldn't call cherry port, Madeira messa. So they called it mess. Sandra was looking at the style, and so it was like a sherry style cask made in the U S S R. Obviously they weren't trading with Western Europe, so they made their own and some of these casks. And I was looking at them and they are crazy looking. They are <laugh> unlike any shape you've ever seen. They're all warped it. The best descriptor I could really come up with it was that it looks like old wood, old big, thick planks that are being used as staves. They're all crazy and warped and bubbled, but they're still holding.

And some of these casks, they would've reused them for hundreds of years and this is what the czar would've commissioned. And he would kind of go round and possibly even touched by the czar. And these are how old these casks are, and the whiskey's coming out of those at Glen Glass outwards, just so stunning, so different, so herbaceous, so syrupy, not overly sweet, but so complex and herbacious very interesting. So there's a real collection of stuff at Glen Glass <laugh> dra Marcala Cas that we'll see coming out. Hopefully, again, there's some things going on behind the background there that I think will, we'll see some changes that Glen Glasss soon enough and maybe start to see some fun things rolled out. Who knows? But lots of things happening. So we do see Ben R as the eclectic distillery, and there's lots of reasons to obviously believe that it is a very eclectic distillery.

Buckland Glasser has some quirks. I think we, it's easy when you've got a portfolio to put distilleries in a box and see Glen Veronica's, this is the Sherry Distillery, Ben Reich's, the kind of eclectic distillery. Glen Glasser will find its feet, but it's so exciting because we don't quite know the direction it's going to go in. But historically speaking, it would've been ped back in, even when you're, there's interviews with shirt nickerson. They're reading old accounts of the distillery. They were collecting Pete from the Mirror locally by, and they were obviously stacking all these massive 400 stacks, 400 tons stacks of peat. And so that whiskey would've traditionally been ped most whiskeys in the Highlands at that time. So Stuart Nickon definitely wanted to have a petered whiskey aling glass, hence why they were looking at creating, obviously it was released under Billy Walker. But that is what Glen Glasser really, that's the closest, historically it would've been to the traditional whiskey made at the distillery. Everything else is just a bonus, really. Yeah. Yeah, it's amazing.

Drew (00:55:33):
So I am looking forward to the future because I'm already marking this down as the distillery to watch, because really this is some great stuff. So totally

Rory (00:55:43):

Drew (00:55:44):
All right. So let's move on from the Glens to the bends.

Rory (00:55:47):
To the bends. Absolutely. So we are going to pivot a wee bit to another distillery. So let's start now you've got the 10 there.

Drew (00:55:56):
This is the 10 original.

Rory (00:55:58):

Drew (00:56:00):
So when we call this original, we're calling it that for what reason?

Rory (00:56:05):
So actually I actually happen to have, I was before this podcast, I was like, oh, I really want to show 'em this. So again, I know you've recorded this on video, so if you do happen to be watching this five video, but I will describe it to you. So what I actually have here in my hands is what is the original 10? So to jump straight into the timeline, but we'll go back into more depth. But just to give you a little snippet of this, what this is is essentially back in 1818, gosh, 1990s in 1996, we had been, Reik released its first single malt scotch whiskey. It'd always been producing single mop. That single mop was going to blend it. So this was the first time it ever released its own single malt under its own banner. And if I pick up the tube that I have here, this was actually the inspiration for what is our new packaging.

So this kind of duck, egg egg, that was a duck blue kind of egg shell tones that we have here was the inspiration for our original 10. Okay. So it has gone through some iterations. So we had this in the 1990s. We had a Billy Walker design, which was very different. I've got some older show you. And so this was the inspiration the original 10, and hence why we call it that, although it is quite different from what that 10 year old would've been like back in the 1990s. But the original 10 does consist of three, oh, sorry, three casks that which I'll be talking a lot about. Each of our core range does include combination of three different cask styles. It is bourbon, virgin, American Oak, and Sherry Cask. And that'll be a combination of all ASO and Petro Hek. Okay. So it is quite, for a 10 year old being our kind of flagship whiskey, what we should expect is really just bringing all of what we should expect from Ben rig together. And it really is, this is what I would say is a classic space I'd single.

Drew (00:58:01):
So I

Rory (00:58:01):
Was so approachable

Drew (00:58:02):
Trying to put my finger on yesterday when I first nose this and I figured it out. Strawberry shortcake.

Rory (00:58:10):
Yeah. Oh gosh. That's a great descriptor. Absolutely,

Drew (00:58:13):
It does. Yeah. Yeah, it's got a little bit of the grain, it's got the strawberry, it's got the kind of vanilla creaminess to a little custard, maybe some banana in there.

Rory (00:58:27):
These are not descriptives that we would associate. I think immediately associate with a 10, either. This is something that we would maybe attribute to more of a mature whiskey. And this is a 10 year old, as it stands, is got some complexity to it. And like you said, some people more generally speaking, but you're right again, that is great a descriptor. Strawberry shortcake is fantastic. <laugh>, exactly what we're talking

Drew (00:58:49):

Rory (00:58:49):
<laugh>. A lot of people get apples and pears. Yeah, I mean they get kind of crisp red apple, they'll get,

Drew (00:58:54):
I get some of that

Rory (00:58:55):
Sheet down pears as well. Yeah, honey, we get the classic space. It really is lemon as well. Yeah,

Drew (00:59:00):
It's amazing how many dir different directions this goes. And they're all, but it all works beautifully together.

Rory (00:59:06):
It does bourbon of course, adding vanilla, honey sweetness, Virgin American Oak, giving us some of that spice, which you'll find on the pallet, gives you a lovely bit of oak spice coming through. And then the sherry casts kind of being the, I guess the string that ties it all together. I think you don't quite get a lot of sherry coming through here. You might get whispers of chocolate perhaps on the finish potentially coming from the sherry casks. But really it's just kind of softening everything that's going in there kind of rounding out some of the edges.

Drew (00:59:37):
I tend to get more of the grain on the pallet when I, it's got a really, a very pleasant grain flavor that comes through.

Rory (00:59:47):
It does. And the barley note here is that kind of crisp and clean sugary note. And I think a lot of people, when you talk about grain notes, it sometimes seen as a negative. But actually in this, it's a lovely barley, sugar snap sweetness, which actually runs through all of the Ben. You'll find that even if it's looking at the older age statements. And that's partially attributed to the fact that we have a four water mash at Ben Reik. So we do have our signature water mash, which is comprised of four waters as opposed to the traditional three. So we're not wasting any of the residual sugars in that malted barley grist. And so you do find that comes through in the whiskey as, because remember the third water in your mash typically then goes into being your first water in your new batch of grs. Yeah. So there will be residual sugars in the first water by Ben, the first and the second water will have residual sugars from the previous mash. So you will have a higher concentration of sugars when you go next door for fermentation, giving you that sweetness, giving you all that lovely acidification that then takes place. So yeah, you do get that kind of malted barley, grain sweetness coming through, which I love. And it's just as fresh as the whole thing up.

Drew (01:00:59):
This is not going to be a knock. This is going to be more of a plus on what we just tasted. Do you tend to do, if you're going to taste both these brands together, these two distilleries, do you put Ben Rick first? Usually because this, it's like the other was so milky and so buttery that I jump over to this and I'm like, it's got nice body to it, but it actually feels you. You're kind of like it's thinner.

Rory (01:01:26):
Yeah, it is. It's much more me. I mean it's a medium bodied, but that's what we try to go for at Beri because it's more of that medium bodied style. And this is night and day compared to the two distilleries. I mean, Glen Glass is heavy, it is rich, it is full bodied and you really get, and Milky is a great descriptor there as well. Yeah. And Glen Ben going to that, it's a little bit, again, you're just removing some of that. You're crisping it up, you're freshening it up and yeah, it's a bit more of a, I'd say kind of going from this is springtime and then obviously Glen glass, like going into like a tum, no, into wintery, <laugh>, kind of that full bodied. Yeah, rich nature. Yeah, it

Drew (01:02:05):
Really is. Absolutely.

Rory (01:02:07):
Now, one thing I want to mention here real quick is if you ever do pick up a bottle off Ben Reik, what you will find where I put my bottle, here we go, is the new label change that we have here. One of the things that is the most, I would say, I think for consumers that are going to be new to single malts or people that are just interested in what's going into their whiskey, this little label on the bottom underneath the main header will tell you everything you need to know that's going in there. The cask makeup, the first cask listed will be the most dominant cask and the smoke level is really key. And in the original 10, I dunno if we took a wee peek at it, but the smoke level on the original 10 is actually trace. So we used to have in our core lineup, we used to have a ped line and an UNPEATED classic line.

And we actually also have a triple distilled line as well, which we can talk about later. We don't have any of that on display, but the smoke level is now being incorporated into the new range to basically give a bit more nuance to what's going on. And in the original 10 we have tweaked it slightly, so the same cask makeup as the last 10 under Billy Walker, but now we've actually incorporated a trace amount of ped whiskey stock in there. So maybe it's a hundred casks. Let's say we're using be a handful of those casks, we'll be ped. So you're not going to really get it. I dunno if you picked up any smoke there.

Drew (01:03:20):
I picked. I did actually. Yeah. And I was thinking, is this because I just had the tofa?

Rory (01:03:25):
Well, there you go. Actually, no,

Drew (01:03:26):
But you're right. This lingered after it was on the finish, it wasn't really during while it was on the pallet, it was as clearing out that I picked up. Just a hint. Just a hint. The smoke on

Rory (01:03:39):
There and some people don't even pick up at all. I mean people that are particularly sensitive or know that that taste or are looking for it will definitely pick it up. But it comes out after, or sometimes you get little hints of it on the nose there, but it is so subtle trace amount. So yeah.

Drew (01:03:53):
So before we jump into the history, let's go ahead and move on to the original 12 since we're see that. Yeah, since we're basically we'll go non semin, non-PE to ped as we get out of our story.

Rory (01:04:10):
Well, the good thing about the 12 is actually that this is actually nil smoke levels. So we are not adding any smoke into this at all. There's no ped whiskey stalks being brought in.

Drew (01:04:22):
And very interesting that you're using different barrels for this. Are you using the same sherry blend basically for what you're doing with the Cher's

Rory (01:04:34):
PX or ASO is what we'll typically use. It'll be more leaning on the ASO side than px. That will typically be probably Cyonic more than Ben rig. But we do certainly have PX casks at Bo, all three distilleries. But yeah, it will be a combination. Probably leaning more on the other also, but we'll have some PX there to boost up that sweetness. But yes the first cask used in this, the most dominant cask will be Sherry. And so a lot of people looked at us, I think when we released a 10 and a 12 range, they were like, really? Is there that much difference? Did you know what, maybe just kind of gone in on the 12 because when you look at kind of whiskey sales and for single model scotch, whiskey 12 as the kind of golden number to have as your flagship. So Ben's always historically had a 10.

So it made sense to be kept that, but there is a significant difference in 10 and 12, of course we're using a different cask makeup. We are slightly tweaking it in that this is a hundred percent unpeated in the 12 opposed to the trace. We are incorporating Sherry <affirmative> bourbon and pork casks in this. And so you are going to get quite a different dimension. And the way that I describe this compared to the 10 is that we are essentially taking that fresh fruit that we had, the strawberries that you found there, the apples, the pears, the lemon zest the apricot. We're just kind of melting it down. We're going to be roasting it down, we're caramelizing those sugars. If there are any fresh fruits, it might be more in the realm of, I'd maybe say some red berry kind of almost like chocolate dark, what was it? Black forest ghetto, that kind of dark chocolate and raspberries and blackberries and things like that. But this is again, quite leaning on the sweeter side of the spectrum here. No smoke whatsoever.

Drew (01:06:17):
Little higher a b V on it. And then what is your process for the barrels? Are you basically blending three different, four different barrels together or are you blending two and then maybe aging them a little longer and something else? How does that work for you guys?

Rory (01:06:33):
So good question. A lot think we move whiskey from one cast the next. We are actually just vatting the different casks together because it's much easier for a master blender. Dr. Rachel Barry, who's at the helm for Glen, which we talked about Glen Glass and Ben under her wing of protection. And she actually is obviously working with different samples from different casks. She's taking those samples from the warehouse down to her lab in Edinburgh. She's mixing them up and once she's kind of got her vat secured and ready, she will then just give them the sheets to work with up at the distillery and they will pick the casks, work in the ratios, create the vat, and that'll get sent down to Edinburg for bottling. So very rarely will we move the casks whiskey from one cask to another in. It's really, if something's gone wrong or if it's too much oak influence or not enough, we'll move it. But especially in the younger whiskeys, we don't really have that problem and we can kind of blend those inconsistencies out if we need to. Yeah.

Drew (01:07:31):
I'm actually getting more of the apple kind of notes out of

Rory (01:07:35):
This. Yeah, yeah. It's almost like apple pie notes you're get and that cinnamon, you're getting that almost sugar note as well, but it's the meat of not the meat, it's the fruit I guess of the apple pie. It's that kind of baked and stewed apple. And that's really the signature note at Ben Re is orchard fruits. Okay. That's what we typically expect at space A distilleries, but yet orchard fruits are what we find running across the line, whether it's unpeated or repeated, it'll just come through in different dimensions I think, whether it's fresh stewed oven roasted, whatever it is or kind of campfire roasted or whatever with some smoke in there. But ooh,

Drew (01:08:13):
Ooh, <laugh> getting second thing I wasn't getting before I, it's almost like it's that grain is there and then all of a sudden this chocolate just takes over.

Rory (01:08:27):
That's what I was talking with the ghetto. Wow. Yeah, dark chocolate, kind of dark forest, black forest, it comes out really in there. Cause it's giving you all that fruit. Suddenly someone comes along with a kind of big thick little water chocolate there and it's says right in the back of the pallet. Oh, it's powerful. It's lovely.

Drew (01:08:44):
Yeah, very nice. And it lingers right through. Yes. That's beautiful.

Rory (01:08:50):
Again, I think we have had historically a 12 at Ben React, but we haven't had one for a very long time in our core range. And this is what one is the Billy Walker era of labeling. So this is what the old 12 would've looked like. It's kind of a white label. The distillery itself is kind of outlined except that it's kind of a red outline for the 12. And other expressions had different colors of distillery kind of shading. So I'm glad we've moved away from this packaging because it definitely looks like it has dated a little bit, but you're not always homage take homage on where your history is coming from. So absolutely,

Drew (01:09:30):

Rory (01:09:31):

Drew (01:09:31):
Let's jump back because this is a younger distillery than Glen Glass. It mm-hmm. Started in 1898, which would've been a bad time to start a distillery because I think the number I read was there were 33 distilleries that were built in Scotland that year and that the Pattison CR bubble was just about to burst on the scotch whiskey industry. But interesting to read also that it appears that John Duff, who was the founder, actually worked for Ick before he worked for Ben Rick.

Rory (01:10:10):
He did. And we don't know a lot, I've done a lot of research in John Duff and we've kind of confirmed and questioned a lot of what he did in his life because he had quite a life it sounded like. He said he did. He was one of the managers at Drunk Distillery, which is crazy to think about where we are now. Obviously they're all under the same ownership. And yeah, he was the founder of Ben R. He also went over to North America, went over to Kentucky, which again is funny now that we think about Brown Foreman being a Kentucky company. We don't really have much of the records of what he did in Kentucky. He then went to South Africa as well. Don't know quite what he was doing there. I think he was working within whiskey in some capacity, but I don't think it really worked out.

Returned to Scotland and set up Longhorn Distillery, followed by Ben R as well. And I mean Longhorn, if you know where Longhorn is, it's Stones threw away. Literally you could walk to Longhorn from the last warehouse at Ben R and it would probably take you five minutes if that three minutes to get to Lawnmower Distillery. Yeah. So he was our founder. He built that and it was like you said, the worst time you could have built a distillery. So the Pattersons crash, that bubble burst about a third of distilleries were either closed or mothballed, some of them never to return. And Ben Reik got caught up in that as well as Glen Glasser of course as well. But I think Ben Reek being a little bit more sad because it had only been open for two years before it was closed in 1900. So it hadn't even a chance to really release any whiskey stocks at that point.

But it is kind of a more modern distillery room. We think of distilleries 1826 being Glenro and then 1875 being Glen Glass. That's really, we're thinking about old cell distilleries, but really turn of the century when we think about that's a fairly modern distillery. So they knew what they were really doing at that point and historically has actually been the training site for many distillers that were starting their time in the industry to really get a handle on how to operate a distillery because you can really have one guy doing everything at Ben. You really don't need a lot of people. It's all clockwise the way it's built. I mean talking more modern to here, this is looking into the eighties and nineties here but it's built clockwise. So you're moving from the malt floor, going into the maltings, going into the milling room, going from that to the mash to fermentation room distillation, then out into the warehouse.

It's a really good visual. You're not kind of going from one place the next Glen glass that can be a wee bit like that where you're kind of in one area and you have to go through the still room to get to another area. So there's a lot of underground little kind of shoots and pulleys and pools that kind of drag things around. But Ben Reiks very straightforward, very well built. And so it was used as a training facility for a long time for distillers and trainee blenders and things to get a handle of what was going on there. Yeah, so it was closed 1900 and really the saving grace that kind of enabled Ben Rak to survive was its malt floors. So it was used from 1900 to 1965, not for making whiskey, but purely from the owners at the time just to malt barley. Cause that had been, all the facilities were new possibly their warehouse space was also utilized to house some whiskey. But really it was making money as being basically a maltster and surviving supplying malt to the surrounding distilleries. And like I said, there's lots of distilleries in that area, so it makes sense to be doing that. And 19, oh sorry, go

Drew (01:13:46):
Ahead. I was going to hear, I heard that they actually had a train that went between the two distilleries, Longhorn and Ben.

Rory (01:13:56):
Are we puggy? Yeah. And actually it would go up to Glenn Lai as well, which is very close to also built by John Duff as well. Okay. There's three distilleries are almost in a little triangle. Obviously Longhorn and Ben are very close, but I didn't even realize until I was there three weeks ago. But that train used to actually go up and around two, it kind of connected the three distilleries and it would obviously take casks, grist, whatever was needed, malted barley and from, and it was even in the local papers and things because it was quite, again perfect in a, going into the we're Victorian era, whatever coming out of that phase, this is really kind of steam engines are the hot craze. So to build them between three distilleries was seen as a real kind of innovation and people really marveled at

Drew (01:14:42):
It. Well, it's interesting to see. We would assume that they would build distilleries away from each other. But when I went to Strat Bay Distillery, if you walk behind it, Glen Keith is right there. So it's like they built them right on top of each other.

Rory (01:14:58):
I mean at that time in Scotland, they were just popping 'em up as much less unprecedented. I mean that would never happen. Now, although they are building a lot of new distilleries they were popping up all over the place. It was a real time to get in on that industry, hence where Ben Reig was built. But who could have seen what was going to happen in two years after that. So yeah, very sad that some of these distilleries got closed. But you're right there are some great photographs and pictures of the train going between the distilleries and arriving at Ben Reek with lots of different materials. Yeah, very interesting. So

Drew (01:15:28):
It got purchased at some point by Glenn Levitt. So what time period would that have been?

Rory (01:15:35):
We're looking at kind of during the crash. So they would've owned it throughout the 19 into the 1965. They were owning it. So then had, that was when it was reopened in the 1960s and it started producing really just exclusively for blended scotch whiskeys. You would not have seen Ben Reik being sold as a single mall, even as the industry started to actually bottle and sell to the wider market for single malts. And that's kind of where Ben Reek was. It was the whisper in the blend. It was known as whiskey stocks that were just kind of being made by Ben Reik of varying styles. It was kind of almost seen as the larder for blenders to go to especially if Isla whiskeys were running out of stock. Ben Reek was always there from 1972, they started creating some ped stocks as well as their classic unpeated style of space side whiskey.

And so they really had it all. And when you walk into the warehouse there, you see it is a hodgepodge of different cast types, different codes that mean or ped or triple distilled or double distilled. It really is a larder. And that's actually how our master blender Dr. Rachel Barry talks about it. She talks about going into that and she can just pick and choose. And that's what she's done with our new core range is that you can see she's obviously gone in there and gone, pork cas, aso phe, Virgin Oak bourbon, I'll take some ped whiskey, I'll sneak that in there. It's just amazing. It must be like a blender's field day to go in there and just see what stocks we have. And we've been doing that historically for decades. Yeah.

Drew (01:17:10):
Wow. And you guys actually did the triple distilling at one

Rory (01:17:14):
Point? We did. We started doing that. I think we did that in 1990s. We started doing that where essentially we were running it for a third time through our stills. And nowadays that whiskeys were only really used for travel retail. So you will see expressions when, I'm not sure how much we're doing that right now, but I have to admit, I did see it when I was going through the airport in Scotland. There is a triple distilled edition of Ben there, I believe it's Bourbon Virgin and Sherry. And it's lovely. I've actually had it before but it is a little bit kind of cleaner. Obviously you're removing a lot of the character from your whiskey as you distill further and further times. But it's a lovely whiskey and again, it kind of brightens, it lightens it it up a little bit more. But again, that's just a testament to how eclectic that distiller is. So you can imagine when we started making single malt under our own banner, it was just a field day for a blender to go into and just have fun.

Drew (01:18:14):
So as we jumped towards the ped yes, was making ped whiskey that came late to the game. So in that beginning of the 20th century and then weren't distilling for a long time. So the question is, were they ever doing a repeated whiskey?

Rory (01:18:32):
So they would've well they wouldn't have obviously with being closed for such a long time. So this was kind of new for Ben Rak in the 1970s. But historically speaking, this would have been the style of whiskey made in that 19th century style, which would've been ped whiskey in the highlands in space side. It was just the thing to do. You had to have Pete to malt your barley. So there was no exception that Ben Rick, if it had been obviously not closed, if it was continued making whiskey for when it was set up, we probably would've had petered whiskey there. So we're returning to a style that we never historically made, but returning to a stale of whiskey that Bayside would've known back in the day. But of course being Ben r has its own little flare on this and we do continue to use Highland Pete in our whiskey stocks.

So I do actually have a piece here, I'm not sure if you can see this on camera, but this is actually a piece of Pete taken from Ben R. Nice. And for those of you not looking at the camera, this has essentially in it embedded this. I couldn't have picked a perfect piece. I'm going to be totally awesome. I'm surprised I got it through security. I'm not sure what foreign you can take through, but pieces of wood, pieces of pine pieces of decaying plant life. And obviously in that part of Scotland in the northeast historically there would've been caldonia and pine forest there. And so when you take a cross section off this Pete Burnett malt, the barley, and then subsequently make it into whiskey, you're going to taste that fauna that is in there. And so the Pete style, and we found it a little in Tofa, but even in Ben, it's a real fresh smoke.

And you'll find it in that smokey 10. It is pine, it's eucalyptus, it's that, but with an edge of smoke and it's also really nice. This one uses bourbon virgin and rum casks in here. So again, three cask styles the inclusion of rum being quite unusual, even virgin task still being quite unusual now to be in a core item. And this is a tweaked version of what is, or what was the Ben Reek 10 curiosity tasks, which was we had Latin names for all of our older petted stocked whiskey at Ben Rak. So this was a slight tweak. We've added virgin and rum casts and we've added in some unpeated stocks into this as well to kind of add more of that signature style at Ben Rak, more of the fruit and maybe just mellowing out that smoke a bit more than it being of the full whack, the full hundred percent petted stocks going in there.

Drew (01:21:03):
Truth, truth be told, I had, I had the bottle of that. A friend of mine had bought it and we traded and I traded for it because he didn't really get into it and I liked it but I had to learn to, it wasn't one that I loved right off off the bat

Rory (01:21:18):
When I started the role I, we had, again ho, I'm going to use the word hodgepodge, but we had a hodgepodge off whiskeys at Ben R and I think it was almost overwhelming for the US side having acquired these single malts, having kind of been out the single malt game for a little bit of time to just look at especially bin like, oh my gosh, there is so many different styles of whiskey coming out of, we're just producing so many different petted and unpeated expressions and triple distilled expressions. It was hard for them to get their head around it. And I remember curiosity distinctly trying it and I like you, I kind of was like, huh, this isn't peed whiskey. I know it. Yeah, it is quite of a curve ball, but I miss that whiskey. So I love the Smokey 10, but I love it so much.

It's got real special place in my heart because it has that kind of, oh you can really taste the barley and I don't mean the grain, it's not the grain spirit, but you can really taste that malted barley that has been smoked. It's such a distinctive taste and it is quite powerful, albeit kind of a different style of peat that's not medicinal, but it is still powerful. But this the Smokey 10 powerful as it maybe it's not that kind of power that you might get behind some of the iso whiskeys. It's a little bit more meld out and you get this kind of inclusion of, again, that sugar snap sweetness coming from the rum. You also get that kind of maybe a tiny hint of the tropical fruits coming in as well. The banana, the pineapple coming from the rum casks, the virgin oak lifting up the vanilla note there and then the bourbon cast giving you that lovely honey crisp note as well. But got

Drew (01:22:54):
A little mint on the finish too, which was kind of nice. Just a fresh freshness to it.

Rory (01:22:58):
Freshness a freshness. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, rum casts, I'm always a little bit of a skeptical and it's skeptical with rum casks when they're using single mal or anywhere really because rum casks can get just used and abused in wherever they are because there's no law. They just keep reusing those casts until they are falling apart. So to get a rum cask that actually has these kind of tropical notes, this coconut note, almost like toasted coconut you get with the Smokey 10 there pineapple, that really is a testament to the quality of the rum casts because they must have gotten them when they've not been just exhausted. They've obviously gotten them when they've still got some life in them to give back. Cause I've had some whiskeys where you really don't taste much at all after the rum coming through and it's probably because they're just dead overused, dead casts overused.

Drew (01:23:49):
So absolutely. As we move to the Smokey Smoky 12, the question I have is if you were a malting facility for so long, what happened to the malting floors?

Rory (01:24:01):
So we did close them down but we actually have now them back up and running. So we are one of the very few distilleries and one of two distilleries in space side that still has their malting floors in operation

Drew (01:24:16):
Now. Vinny being the other

Rory (01:24:17):
Now any Absolutely yes. Yeah, so we don't run it all the time and we do not have it going into all our whiskeys. Obviously this is more of a seasonal thing. We do try and coincide it with the space side whiskey festival that takes place in the spring. So April may we do try and have our malting floor up and running for that so people can come visit and see it and see a very traditional style of malting that's plays into Ben v's history but into the industry as a whole historically speaking. And yeah, we still have that in operation. Like I said, I was there three weeks and it is just a very classic looking malting floor. Very well done. We've got a great big kiln and we'll obviously be shoveling in peat as well as other smokeless fuels in there. If we're doing some unpeated stocks of malted barley and we'll do all of our malting on site, we'll then take that and then run it through the production.

And actually very interestingly, although I know you don't have it to taste, but worth noting very recently in the last number of, I'd say four months, three months ago, we actually did release our malting season. I've been Rex, so this is actually whiskey that we've now started producing on a yearly kind of annual basis. We'll release this malting season and this is exclusively whiskey that has been made with barley malted onsite and it is absolutely gorgeous. Mm-hmm. A non age statement whiskey. But we're looking at maybe here hit in the room that 10 year mark or so and it's Asian bourbon and virgin casts and it is fantastic. It's got a real kind of old school cereal note that you just don't find in modern day whiskeys. Not to bash on the monsters at all, but it's just different. It's quite unique than Reg. Yeah. Very nice. Smokey 12 though. Yes. You've got this in your hand. Yep. Fantastic. So this whiskey is, I think when all the new portfolio was released, I was most excited about the Smokey 12 because there's one ca in there that kind of is flashing red to be noticed.

So this is bourbon sherry and Marcella wine casks. Okay. And this is unusual. So the Marcella wine comes from Sicily, it comes it's a kind sweet dessert wine that we find. It's not that popular but it's certainly a lovely drink that you can find maybe online and try, I definitely recommend people trying Marcella and it really does add a kind of syrupy nature to the whiskey. When talking to Dr. Rachel Barry, she was looking at Vatting this whiskey and she was trying stocks off the Marc wine gas samples and she was saying that it is quite aggressive. It really is quite a lot to be putting. So there's not much in here, but there certainly is enough that you're getting the mouth feel and the flavor coming through and it really is so different. This is such night and day from anything in the portfolio. A night and day contrast from the Smokey 10 to this smokey 12, the smoke is still going to be rich in this smoke level is rich, just like the smokey 10 still coming in at 46%, just like the smokey 10.

But the smoke is so much more mellow here. It is so much more gentle. One of the ways I like to think about Pete's smoke when it comes to our whiskeys is if you have a barbecue, whether it's in your garden, your next door neighbor's garden or block down the road, it's kind of that way I think. I feel like the Smokey 12 is more of a couple of neighbors down the road. It's not intense, it's so gentle and it really doesn't even emerge until can a mid to back palate into the finish. Yeah. It's not the first thing you taste, which I love because people, when they think of smokey whiskeys I think almost like IPAs nowadays, it's like they want to be hit full face hops in the face, in the pallet. Boof is explosion of peat if it's whiskey. But this is not that. It's so gentle. It's layers of flavor and smoke just happens to be one of those flavors, not the dominant, it's very easy to get into,

Drew (01:28:21):
Surprisingly. It's kind of like I get the vanilla, I get the as well. And then the strawberry thing kind of came back to me again. And then as you get towards the finish, the grain starts to come out. But it's so nicely married with the smoke, neither one is taking charge of the show. They're both kind of balancing and coming at you saying, hello, we're here. But not being overly aggressive.

Rory (01:28:49):
Yeah, it's a kind of symphony and you can dive into the different parts of the orchestra if you'd like, but you can just sit back and enjoy them all at once as they're coming towards you. Yeah, very pleasant. Yeah, really pleasant. This one did exceptionally well. I think again, they all have their own merits, but this was picked up by Whiskey Magazine, they got their top 20, this got number three, so it made it to their front cover. So they did very well with the press on this. So I think a lot of people it quickly sold out, say the least this, so it came into market and we didn't have a lot of it to start with and it was quickly back out, but it should be quite readily available now. So it's definitely worth trying if you're into smokey whiskeys, pted scotch definitely worth trying. But if you're new to single malt scotch whiskey and you want to try something smokey, I'd say this is the one to really try because it is just so different. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Fantastic.

Drew (01:29:41):
So this is what I love about scotch whiskey, it, it's just amazing how you can take one grain and you can get so many different things out of it. And

Rory (01:29:51):
The spectrum is massive.

Drew (01:29:52):
Seven whiskeys here and all seven of them are different.

Rory (01:29:56):
So different. And again, some of them are roughly the same age, some of them have similarities in the caste types, but how that expression is put onto the nose and the palette is so different. And even in bin Rex's case, some subtle differences in the production. So when it comes to our unpeated style of spirit, we'll run that still for probably about an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes, give or take. And that's actually one of the widest cuts in space side. So you're looking at some distilleries and they'll talk about a very precise cut. I was at Glen Fark and obviously Macallans well known for having a very precise cut. And that's, it's funny because obviously there's nothing wrong with that at all. That's just style of whiskey and you want to make that style of whiskey and it's good, but it's, it's funny how you can market that as being a very precise cut.

Cause you're getting a very slither of your heart, but really in Ric, you are taking the fullest extent off the heart as you possibly can. So you're getting everything from grain cereal notes going into apples, pears all the way through to some of the heavier notes as well. And for our petted style spirit, we're even running that for I think 10 minutes longer. So give or take, it could be an hour and 40 minutes or an hour and 55. And that's where all the heavier phenols come from. And so again, you're include, you're not changing your heart, you're just elongating it. And to incorporate some of those heavier alcohols, well all of those little smoke

Drew (01:31:22):
That come in the low end of the hearts towards the faints are where a lot of the personality comes in. It's really interesting that you say this. Yeah, because I'm, my friend and I were in this little argument about Macallan and I'm like, for me, so many of the Macallan whiskeys are they, they're don't express themselves enough for me. There needs to be more, there's almost like they're flat to me in a way, but everybody loves them because they have the name on them. And I'm like, but the thing is, is that there's something about them, and I don't know if it's the casks they're using or if as you say now we're talking about where they're making very narrow cuts, then they are. Maybe I'm a fan of those that are missing in what's being produced.

Rory (01:32:13):
That's it. Yeah. I mean, there's a stale of whiskey out there for everyone. And Macallan is a great example of a whiskey. They've obviously, they've hit gold on that style of whiskey for I think capturing a large part of the market. And I think the branding, the luxury, that all really helps as well towards brand recognition and perceived prestige and things like that. But I think for malt drinkers, serious malt drinkers, people that are looking for other flavors, I think once you get out the realm of Macallan, what they do, they do very well. But it is a narrow slither and you do make a lot of different expressions. But again, it's all kind of very constrained to this style and there's nothing wrong with that. But if you do want to try a distillery, I would say Ben these are all the distilleries that do different styles of whiskey.

And that is what whiskey is all about. It's all about flavor, it's all about pushing the boundaries, it's all about experimenting. And Ben and a handful of these other distilleries across Scotland continue to do that. And that's why I, I'm fascinated with, I mean we've just had our core range there and already we've tried a huge spectrum of flavor. We've covered different cas types the inclusion of unpeated and ped spirits together in different variations and ratios different proof levels, different ages, even be it 10 to 12, so massive of a difference. And yeah, when it comes to other things that we have in our portfolio, we have a 21, a 25, a 30, all including some ped stocks as well as unpeated. So we have old stocks of ped whiskey. And that stuff as a matures just gets so elegant and complex, it really does change.

And the single casks, I mean anyone that loves Ben reek you. I remember there was one point I was in my storage and I had to take a picture of this cause I had so many Ben Reeks that I had kind of collected from expressions that were either historic from the archives or things that we had and just kind of ran out stock on. So they were now obsolete in the market in terms of just tasting with friends and with connoisseurs and things like that. And I had to take a picture, we had about 30 different expressions of Ben rig there and it was just mad. And they have really done a bit of everything. Yeah, it's incredible distillery.

Drew (01:34:29):
Fantastic. Well, thank you for walking us through and for the previous episode, getting people into Glenro and now jumping into two more whiskeys that I think it's great that it will help people recognize what's on the shelf and maybe know a little bit more about what they're picking out when they're going for scotch whiskeys, but love the history as well and definitely appreciate you for sharing all of that with us.

Rory (01:34:50):
Thank you so much. No, and definitely, I mean, Ben, Rick has changed, so definitely if you haven't changed, tried the new changes, try it. Glen Glasser worth trying. Absolutely. It is a phenomenally just big, rich and robust distillery, but one to watch for because there will be some changes potentially coming down the way for that distillery. And I am so excited. So can't wait to see what happens.

Drew (01:35:12):

Rory (01:35:14):
Slane, cheers.

Drew (01:35:16):
If you want to learn more about Ben Ek, then just head out to ben rick distillery.com or Glen Glasso you can get to@glenglasso.com. And if you're having some trouble spelling those, no problem, just head out to whiskey-lord.com/interviews and you'll find the links in the show notes along with transcripts and much more. Don't forget coming up this Monday, I'll have a Fresh President's Day episode of the All New this week in Whiskey Lore available right here on this same podcast feed. So make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss an episode. I'm your host Hanish. And then until next time, cheers. And Slane a Whiskey Lores, a production of Travel Fuel's Life. L L C.


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