Scotch Distillery Finishes Whisky In Special Crimean Barrels

The region of Crimea has been in the news of late after being annexed by Russia over the objections of the Ukraine and the international community as a whole. It is an area rich with history, including a famous winery built in the late 1800s named Massandra that was a favorite of Russian Tsar Alexander III. Some of its barrels, which once held fortified/dessert wines, have more recently been used to help finish aging some special Scotch from Glenglassaugh.

The latest two whiskies in the distillery’s Massandra Connection series are described as a 35-year-old Madeira wood finish and a 41-year-old Sherry wood finish. Both of these were allowed a little extra maturation time in the special Massandra casks related to their namesakes, resulting in what Glengassaugh said are a dramatic evolution of their flavor and style. The special barrels, which were for the first time allowed to be exported by the winery, were brought over in 2010.

Tasting notes for both these non-chill filtered, natural color whiskies and more information per the distillery are below for your consideration.

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 41 Years Old Sherry Wood Finish (image via Glenglassaugh)

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 41 Years Old Sherry Wood Finish (image via Glenglassaugh)

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 35 Years Old Madeira Wood Finish (41.7% vol):

Colour: Antique dark oak.

Nose: Rounded creamy notes of cantaloupe melon open to beautiful depths of gentle sweet oak. Waves of a subtle sea air coastal note balance the rich ripe fruit character.

Palate: A fantastic contrast of luscious ripe melon and sharp sour plums softens to boiled sweets and dried apricots with the smallest hint of ripped mint in the background. A gentle dry oak note sweetens to a dusting of iced sugar on the palate.

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Finish: Layer upon layer of subtle fruit characters come together with delicate aged oak to give a delicious range of flavours in the unique Glenglassaugh style. 

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 41 Years Old Sherry Wood Finish (44.5% vol):

Colour: Warm harvest gold.

Nose: Dried pineapple, bananas and golden sultanas warmed by hints of stem ginger and white pepper spice. Candied peel notes soften to a unique sweet oak character.

Palate: A fresh crisp lime zest flows over green apples and pears. Hints of tantalising ripe tropical fruits emerge in the mid palate and combine with delicate cigar box spices and a gentle oiliness, bringing great depth to the long exclusive vintage.

Finish: A fantastically vibrant expression for a malt of this vintage, giving a diverse combination of classic fruit and spiced flavours.