Monday, 1 September 2014

Glengoyne distillery

Glengoyne distillery
Dumgoyne, by Killearn
Stirling G63 9LB

South Highlands - Scotland, active

Flavour profile

Well, there it is - chocolate, peanuts and raisins. These flavours dominate Glengoyne whisky to the extent that I often think of chocolate-covered peanuts and raisins, the kind one can get in cinemas, or perhaps at Christmas. Glengoyne doesn't taste cheap at all though - it's sweet, unctuous and flavourful, to the point where I think it's the sort of whisky one indulges in as a luxury. Perhaps, indeed at Christmas.

These sweet, fruity, nutty notes are probably the result of the casks - official Glengoyne bottlings use a lot of sherried whisky, while the two independent bottlings that I've had appear to be aged in port pipes. There is no peat - Glengoyne of course advertises its whisky as completely unpeated. Nevertheless I've detected some odd leather notes in one or two Glengoyne bottlings, so it does exist.

Glengoyne 17 yo was one of the first whiskies I ever tasted, and the distillery's output remains a great introduction into the world of dramming and the related world of single malt whisky. I've often thought about putting together a Glengoyne tasting. Maybe one day...

All the Glengoynes I have tasted so far are here.

SMWS 123.5 - good
SMWS 123.3 - very good
Glengoyne 21 yo - good
Glengoyne 10 yo - good
Glengoyne 17 yo - very good

Distillery history

This distillery sits so southerly that it's practically in the Lowlands. In fact, I believe some of its grounds technically sit across the Highland line. I've decided that it needs a special designation in my categories, so I've simply called this malt 'South Highlands'. The distillery markets itself as the only distillery in Scotland to eschew peat entirely. Flavourwise this is certainly true, and one can taste it, but I'm not really sure.

Glengoyne distillery was founded in 1833 by one George Connell, and was first named Burnfoot of Dumgoyne. The distillery passed through the hands of several private owners till it ended up in the hands of Lang Brothers Ltd by 1876. Lang Brothers Ltd eventually became part of the Edrington Group. The group refurbished the distillery in 1967, adding an additional still. The Edrington Group sold the distillery to Ian Macleod & Co in 2003.

There are 4 single malts in the entry-level range - the 10 yo, the 17 yo, the 21 yo, and a new 15 yo that I haven't tasted yet (but I will!). There are also a host of other special releases, like the Teapot Dram, which are harder to find. There are a few indie bottlings around though.

Potted distillery facts

Water source: Blairgar Burn
 Six, Oregon pine, 19,000 litres each
Wash stills: 
One, reflux bowl neck, 16,520 litres.
Spirit stills: Two, reflux bowl neck, 5,000 litres
Spirit still Lyne arm: slightly descending
Production per year: 
1,200,000 litres

The Scottish Whisky Distilleries, Misako Udo

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