As a Londoner, I find Glengoyne‘s tagline wholly enjoyable.
‘Glengoyne: Unhurried since 1833.’
There’s something very respectable about that isn’t there? In its own way, it reflects how much of Scotland tends to be (at least for a fast-paced, constantly on-the-go southerner like myself). And, how the Scotch industry is too. Unhurried. Just reading it makes me take a moment’s pause. It’s lovely.
Which is, how I’m told, the distillery is as well. I’ve yet to head to its spot, nestled at the foot of the Dumgoyne hills just under 14 miles outside of Glasgow, but I’ve been told by friends in the whisky world that it is picture-perfect.
As a bit of background, Glengoyne has been around and relaxing in its ways since 1833. It produces an unpeated spirit distilled on the slowest stills in Scotland. That spirit is filled into ex-sherry casks and is matured wholly on-site.
The range from the distillery – which is owned now by Ian Macleod Distillers – is extensive, running from the 10, 12, 15, 18 and 21 to a Cask Strength, Distiller’s Gold 15-year old and travel retail exclusive Burnfoot.
I have recently had the chance to try the 15 year old and the Cask Strength. As was suggested by the distillery’s tagline, I sat back and relaxed while tasting these drams, trying my best to put my zippy lifestyle to the side and feel fully unhurried. Here was what I thought of each:
Glengoyne 15: 43%:
(C): Golden Toffee
(N): Toffee, cream and oranges to begin – really quite a sweet nose. With water, a bit of grassy tinged sweetness emerges, along with some malty notes and peaches and cream oatmeal (a Canadian thing).
(P): On the palate, loads of sticky toffee pudding notes with a lot more depth than I was initially expecting from the nose – really surprises in a good way. There is a slightly toasted smoke and it is very rich and pleasing all around. Even without water there is hardly any bite (only a wee bit at the tip of the tongue). With water, there are some hints of stewed peaches and just more caramel.
(F): Minty cardboard and a bit of bitterness.
A dram to go to again and again. Really rich but not overwhelming and well-balanced with loads of layers. Terribly satisfying.
Glengoyne Cask Strength: 58.7%:
(C): Orange sunset
(N): Light and floral to start on the nose. From the rich colour, I’m expecting it to be sweeter than it comes across. Lots of baked notes: baked cinnamon cake and baked pears. It’s one to sit with for a while to open up. With water, some sharp orange citrus, a dash of vanilla – everything calms after it’s had a minute or two to mix with water.
(P): Sharp but satisfying to begin on palate: loads of oranges and brown sugar. This is added on with a note of dark berry gooeyness and a lot of peppery spice. With water, it’s still quite citrussy and a lot more sweetness (caramel) replaces the peppery side. A darker note of treacle comes later and it is fully of creamy texture.
(F): Slightly dry with notes of cinnamon sticks.
A flavourful, enjoyable, punchy dram that is full of warmth with and without water. It’s lovely and creamy but there isn’t as long of a finish as I’d expect. Still, the perfect substitute for a rich pudding post meal with its creamy, heavy caramel flan notes.