I must apologize to you first for being a liar. I said this was going to be a week of whiskies bottled by the SMWS from highland distilleries whose names start with “Glen”. Such were Monday’s Glenturret and Wednesday’s Glencadam. I must now inform you shamefacedly that while today’s whisky is from a highlands distillery whose name starts with “Glen”, it was in fact bottled by Old Particular (one of the Laing outfits) for my old buddies, K&L in California. I don’t know why I got it in my head that this was also a SMWS release and I will not blame you if you choose to never forgive me for this betrayal. There are other continuities though. The Glenturret and the Glengoyne were both 8 years old. Add those together and you have 16 and that’s how old this Glengoyne is. And like those two, this one was also bottled at a high strength—though just shy of 60% in this case.
Folly aside, this is a good opportunity to try a Glengoyne from a bourbon cask—the official releases are largely sherried. I do hope I will like it better than the last refill hogshead Glengoyne for K&L I sampled, which was good but nothing very special (this 21 yo). Let’s see.
Glengoyne 16, 2005 (59.1%; Old Particular for K&L; refill hogshead 14896; from a bottle split)
Nose: Cereal, lightly toasted oak, berries with lemon zest and a bit of sugar. As it sits the lemon gets a bit muskier. Continues in this vein. With a few drops of water the oak gets pushed back and the musky fruit expands: some overripe pear and a bit of peach in there now with the lemon.
Palate: Comes in with more oak here and the alcohol is more pronounced as well. Thick’ish texture. The sweeter notes from the nose pop out on subsequent sips but there’s more oak presence than I would like—not tannic but just a bit too spicy. With more time the lemon gets oilier and comes up in front of the oak. Okay, let’s see what water does. It pushes the oak back here as well—though it remains peppery—and as on the nose, it’s the muskier fruit that now has more to say.
Finish: Long. The oak is prominent here too at first but then eases to allow the lemon (oily zest) to emerge. With time the oak resolves into cracked black pepper. Fruitier here too with water and also saltier.
Comments: At first on the nose it seemed this would showcase the pleasures of whisky aged in a refill hogshead but the oak was still too talkative on the palate. Air and then water fixed most of that and let the fruit out.
Rating: 87 points. (Pulled up by water.)