Whilst there’s nothing quite like tasting whisky whilst standing in an evocative warehouse surrounded by slowly maturing casks, sometimes you have to accept the next best thing. So it was that I turned in to a live tasting with Glengoyne, streamed from their No.1 Warehouse. The session was ably lead by Distillery Manager Robbie Hughes and Brand Manager Robert Hendry who provided an insightful look at Glengoyne’s history, whisky and philosophy.
The hour and a half tasting and Q&A is now available for you to view online at your leisure. If you’re a fan of Glengoyne, I’d heartily recommend it. There are lots of interesting anecdotes, facts about wood management and details of the composition of their 15, 18 and 21 year old expressions. There was also a little announcement too – Glengoyne 30 year old is coming soon - hold onto your potatoes Dr Jones!
Whilst I don’t have the full range of Glengoyne whiskies sitting around in Dramble towers I do have their 21 year old, so drammed along with Robbery and Robert whilst making some tasting notes of this well-regarded sherried highlander.
Nose: Fresh and aromatic. Toffee apples, cherries and a basket full of dried red fruits, from cranberries and redcurrants through to raspberries. Notes of smouldering cigars, leather and salted almonds provide sherried depth alongside some already perceptible spicing and light herbalness akin to eucalyptus. An inviting start.
Taste: An unctuous mouthfeel which is not as sweet as you expect it to be. Whilst this is clearly a very sherried whisky, the sweetness is well managed, balancing sugars with some sourness of fruit and bitterness from cask maturation. Sour cherries and stewed raspberries sit alongside soft but pronounced spice – cinnamon, cloves and a dash of oak char.
Finish: Medium to long in length with some tannic quality (to be expected from 21 years in European oak) which is pleasantly soft and not grabbing. The emphasis here is on spice once again - specifically cinnamon.
I’ll state this from the off - Glengoyne 21 year old is delicious. That out of the way, it’s worth highlighting the wonderful balance that’s been achieved between the sweeter notes and the deeper ones. High quality European oak has been used well here to add complexity and richness, whilst impressively still maintaining lightness and vivaciousness. Characterful, captivating and right up my street.