So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Glengoyne Tasting by Malt Vault at The Connoisseur Divan

When this was announced, I jumped at the opportunity as I had never had a Glengoyne before (shame!) So firstly, thanks to Ben Curtis for putting this together and setting up a great session with Jonathan Scott.



(Photo from IAPD Tours)

Glengoyne sits just north of the imaginary line that divides the Lowlands and the Highlands, or at least the distillery itself does, the warehouses are on the Lowland side. Does that mean it has a little bit of both worlds? Glengoyne labels itself a Highland malt, but the still house is somewhat misleading:



With a 3 still set up, one might think triple distillation occurs here like at Lowlander Auchentoshan, but in fact the 2 spirit stills work concurrently with each charge from the wash still, yet Glengoyne’s spirit is on the light side by design: Consider the ball at the shoulders of the stills that provide increased reflux action, and that the stills are never boiled over, instead slow heating gives Glengoyne the slowest distillation (increasing copper action) of any Scotch distillery, with the heart cut taken between 25% – 71%. Tube condensers which provide even more copper action are also in use.

Other interesting tidbits: Optic and Concerto barley is used by the maltsters for Glengoyne, and the yeast used is an interesting mix of brewer’s yeast and locally sourced recovered yeast which is yeast recovered by brewers after the fermentation cycle.

Today Glengoyne belongs to the bottlers Ian Macleod, a continuation of the trend for bottlers to acquire their own distilleries like Benromach with Gordon & Macphail and the Adelphi-built Ardnamurchan. Is this because boomtime makes it harder for independents to source top quality casks? Jonathan says not at all, owning a distillery has always been on the roadmap of Ian Macleod.

The Whisky: Just impressions here, no real tasting notes:


The 10 year old, 40%, blended from 100% refill and first fill sherry wood. Here I find some fruity freshness, leather and nuts with a rather short palette and light body.


The 12 year old, 43%, from 15% ex bourbon and the remainder refill and first fill sherry wood. Here I find red fruit and a bigger sweetness with some butterscotch. Profile is still rather light but pleasing.


The Cask Strength at 58.7%. From 100% refill and first fill sherry wood. This is much better, raisin boxes and milk chocalate, something spicy tingles too.


The 15 year old, 43%, 20% ex-bourbon and the remainder refill and first fill sherry wood. More cooked fruit and syrup toffee sweetness with some spiciness.


The 18 year old, 43%, 50% refill and 50% first fill sherry. This is getting real delicious now, even if it isn’t uber sherried (a good thing to me) but a soft elegance with bitter oranges accompanied with rolling spices make this a gentler, complex offering. Some flambeed notes too.


The 21 year old, 43%, is no longer from 100% first fill sherry butts but while the exact proportion is not disclosed, Jonathan assures us that more than 80% is  indeed from first fill sherry with the remainder from refill sherry. This is excellent, dusty, deep chocolatey cocoa notes, trays of dried dark fruit, so its the works, brought together by time and wood.

One comment on “Glengoyne Tasting by Malt Vault at The Connoisseur Divan

  1. Jack Smith, C.S.S.
    April 21, 2015

    Malt Spec (Phenols): 0-ppm (Unpeated). Casks: By volume, 70% Sherry and 30% Bourbon whiskies. A first for a Glengoyne single malt, an eternal sherry house.

    EYE: Natural, rich gold with moderate legs.

    NOSE: Coconut oil, honey, lemon zest, dried oak.

    PALATE: Toffee apples, cinnamon spice, ginger, orange, shortbread Initial taste: toffee apples, cinnamon spice, ginger, orange, shortbread.

    FINISH: A hint of sherry & soft oak. Very well balanced.

    Comments: The subtle, complex flavours of slow distillation and 12 yrs in exquisite wood. Glengoyne 12-yr 43% ABV is a relatively new (2012) product. (Although we had a 12-yr cask strength some years ago; you may find some bottles if you search.) This is something new for us in that it is the first core release (available globally) to have a large percentage (circa 30%) of its whisky matured in bourbon wood. Normally we only use sherry and refill casks. I have always enjoyed Scotch whisky matured in Bourbon, so this is a welcome addition to our range and is proving popular. In regard to our 10 year old sherry cask aged expression, as far as I’m aware, we have no plans to discontinue it. After all, they are very different whiskies with the addition of the bourbon matured casks in the 12. Both the 10 and 12 are worth a try. (I’m not free to reveal the source of this direct quotation.)

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2015 by in Glengoyne and tagged .
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