Glengoyne. The Highland Lowland malt. An oddity in the Scotch whisky world wherein the spirit is produced in the Highlands, but matures in the Lowlands. This has to do with the fact that Glengoyne straddles the regional boundary, with the distillery on one side and the warehouses on the other. Fun little claim to fame, I suppose, but at the end of the day it is as incidental to the end product as any other regional appellation leveed on a malt.
Even up till now, many folks put far too much weight on a distillery’s regional nomination. The simplest way I can point out the flaw in this theory is to ask you to blindly tackle a handful of Speysiders and Highlands together and tell me which are which. Ain’t gonna happen.
Glengoyne is otherwise a fairly unremarkable whisky. For a while there, in the mid-2000s, there was a bit of a buzz behind the name as the distillery experienced a bit of a renaissance under Ian MacLeod, but fanfare and rumblings do not a great spirit make, and unfortunately…I find myself still underwhelmed by the brand. Yes…even in it’s older incarnations. There are certainly some admirable characteristics in the Glengoyne expressions I’ve tried, but the sum never seems to equate to the parts, and balance is key to a great whisky.
I’m a little behind the times in getting to this review, as I believe it has now been replaced with a 12 year old expression, but such is. I believe you can still find this one out there.
Oh yeah…One other little tidbit that Glengoyne likes to parlay to its advantage: it is “untainted by peat smoke” (their words, not mine). Hmmm…so what? Aren’t a whole whack of others as well? Not sure why this would be a claim to fame. And…’untainted’? Like peat is a flaw? Ummmm….ok.
Nose: Caramel and malt heavy. Creamy and raisiny butter tarts. Gentle orange and shortcakeptype dessert notes. Brown sugar. Smells like a bit of a late bloomer. Not quite grown up enough to be let loose. Some mildly peppery, and leathery notes if you search deeper and longer.
Palate: More sherry influence showing here than on the nose. Cinnamon and dried fruits. Slightly bitter nuttiness. Still fairly malty. Apple. The grains and oak are still miles apart here. Both infintitely detectable as individuals and no cohesion yet. Not a great finish.
Thoughts: Simple and I suppose pleasant enough for anyone wanting a very entry level dram, but this doesn’t havbe much to keep me coming back. Rather heavy for a 10 y.o. 43%er, I find, but not in a bad way. Kinda makes me want to see the size and shape of the stills at Glengoyne.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt