As I’ve said each time I’ve reviewed a Glengoyne (two occasions total before this one), I’ve not had much Glengoyne and have reviewed even less. I actually thought about purchasing this 25 yo for one of my local group’s premium tastings when it was first released in 2014—the price was “reasonable”, which is to say it was high but seemed reasonable compared to what’s asked these days for 25 yo official releases from most distilleries. In the end though I remembered that I hadn’t had very much Glengoyne and decided to exercise caution until I’d had a chance to taste it. That ended up taking a couple of years. In fact it wasn’t till this August that I finally got around to tasting it. This was at the same St. Paul gathering celebrating sherried whiskies at which I tasted the Glenfaclas 1968. As with that one, and some others from that night which will hopefully show up on the blog in the coming weeks, I brought a 2 oz sample of the Glengoyne 25 home for a more careful review, and here now is that review. Continue reading
I’ve not had very much Glengoyne. To a large degree this is because there isn’t much Glengoyne available from independent bottlers. Whiskybase lists only 125 independent releases over the years. This in itself is not so odd—there are a number of distilleries whose malts rarely show up from indies, and it’s not just the obscure ones pumping out malt for blends (when was the last time you saw an indie Oban?). Some do save what they don’t put out as single malt for their house/group blends (Talisker, for example), and some only put out single malt and so keep all/most of their product for themselves (Bruichladdich, for example). It’s the casks that move between blenders and brokers that are more likely to end up in the hands of the indies. What is unusual though is that none of the 125 indie releases of Glengoyne was/is from Gordon and MacPhail. And just as oddly, the indie that seems to have released the most Glengoyne is the relatively young Malts of Scotland—they have 30 releases, twice as many as the next highest, the Single Malt Whisky Society. What the explanation for these anomalies is, I don’t know. And you might say it’s not a very interesting matter either. In which case, you must be really resentful about having read all of this. Continue reading
Glengoyne is in the Highlands (barely): the line dividing the Highlands from the Lowlands apparently runs in front of the distillery and the whisky is matured in warehouses in the Lowlands. This is, however, deeply uninteresting so let’s let it lie. Glengoyne prides itself on using only unpeated barley and are also noted for extensive use of ex-sherry casks for maturation. I’ve not had very many Glengoynes and the only one I’ve really liked a lot is the now discontinued (of course) Glengoyne 12 CS. I acquired a sample of this 17 yo in a swap. I tasted the first ounce soon after receiving it and liked it well enough to pick up a bottle while it was still deeply discounted in California. I decided to drink the second ounce now and review it as I plan to open the bottle soon and it seemed like a good idea to commit myself to notes on the sample and then see how the freshly opened bottle compares.