About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Glengoyne is one of those distilleries that live pretty much a quiet life in the shadow of the popularity of peated whiskies and high profiled distilleries.

You can easily visit Glengoyne Distillery. It's located not that far outside Glasgow and can be reached by bus - there's actually a bus stop right outside the distillery... pretty convenient if you'll be having a few drams there :-) The bus ride is about 45 mins from Glasgow or 25 mins by car if you do decide to drive there. They have several tours to choose from (which is good)  - you can read more about that on the Glengoyne website.

Being completely unpeated, Glengoyne produces a crisp and malty dram, mainly from ex-bourbon and sherry casks, although the odd wine cask sometimes get used as well. This will only be the second Glengoyne I'll be reviewing here on The Malt Desk, and its a bottle that has really grown on me these past couple of months in spite of being a NAS bottling - now, that is something as I've had a few rants on here about NAS bottlings. This one, however is really good quality, but I also suspect not there hasn't gone as much really young whisky into this one, as we maybe see in NAS bottlings from other distilleries.

Sadly, I've seen this one go up almost £10/€12 in those 2 months at a particular large UK online retailer - from £44.95 to £54.35 - which suddenly makes this one less attractive... but thankfully this can still be found at around €45 in selected mainland Europe webshops. On a more happy note, I'm really glad I have shares in 2 casks of Glengoyne - an American oak sherry cask and a European oak ditto, though its going to be a while before they get bottled - they've only just turned whisky (3yo).

Now on to the review...

Glengoyne Distillery - Picture from Wikimedia

Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 2 58,9%, No Age Statement, Distillery bottling

Colour is light amber

There's clearly a portion of younger whisky in here. This reeks of fresh malt, half finished baking, overripe fruits and hints of strawberry. After a while some drier notes comes through along with toffee, figs and nuts - bit of cognac and young rum notes in there too along with the nose sensation of walking into a green house/leafy notes. Very expressive nose!

Initially a bit strong on the alcohol, but its clean and crisp, probably almost as clean and crisp as they come. There's still some young'ish notes present in here - the whole thing starts off very sweet on vanilla and sugar cane / demerara-style sugars only to turn drier, moving away from salivating malt. It has dried fruits, orange peel and clear sherry notes which gets more evident with time - it also has some dried and wet tobacco leaves lurking in the background. The finish is longer than expected, delivering tons of sweet barley notes. This also swims very well so if you try this, don't be afraid to add a good splash of water. You should expect, though, that adding water will move the sherry notes to the background but instead give you a lovely head on malt driven attack on your palate.

This is a mix of some pretty active younger sherry casks mixed with maybe some refill ones and a couple bourbon casks (my opinion - not a fact!) and it works like a charm here... Now, I've read somewhere that this thing could as old as 12 years, but I doubt that really... I'm sure if it had they'd put it on the label ;-) I'll go as far as to agree to that there might a some 12yo Glengoyne in the mix, but the majority is still younger - I'm guessing around 8yo.

Anyway, if all NAS whiskies were like this, there would be less of an outcry against them... This is good stuff!


Post amended on 10th August 2014:
Please also have a read here where I compare this version to the 12yo Cask Strength version that the above expression is a replacement for....

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