If you are visiting Glasgow then I would recommend a trip to the Glengoyne distillery which is about a 50 minute bus journey away. Interestingly, they describe themselves as a Highland distillery because they mature their malt in the Highlands across the road from the main site which is in the Lowlands. Glengoyne do not use peat in the production process which is good to know for those of us that are interested in working out how flavours are created. Their core range that consists of a 10, 15, 18, 21 and 25 year old. I have reviewed the 12 and was impressed (that reminds me – I must try the 10 year old). Here I am taking on the 15 and 18 year old versions.
Whisky: Glengoyne 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 43%
Nose: Honey, barley sugar, cinnamon, ginger, almonds
Taste: Malt, biscuits, cream, grapefruit rind, lemon, ginger, dark fruits, metallic
Finish: Dry, bitter citrus rind, hint of dark fruits, dark chocolate, oak
Summary: This follows nicely on from the 12 year old. The lightness remains along with the pleasant malt and barley sugar notes but with added spice and richness. There was a metallic/ethanol note which was slightly off-putting but it cleared up after a bit of water and time. The notable additions with this 15 are the dark fruit notes and pronounced cinnamon spice. These notes are a welcome addition making this version a bit more complex than the 12. This is a solid 15 year old single malt, nothing here not to like. This used to be less than £50 but prices have crept up to £55. At less than £50 I would say this offers great value for money, above £50 then it is starting to compete with other single malts with more complexity and character.
Whisky: Glengoyne 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 43%
Nose: Rich dried fruit, oak, leather, roasted nuts, malt and barley sugar
Taste: Creme brulee, caramel, cinnamon, fresh bread, roasted nuts, sultanas, chocolate, oak, wine
Finish: Dry, cinnamon spice, dry oak, cocoa
Summary: This is where things change, less of the light fruitiness of the 12 and 15 and more of the rich fruitiness you get from the extra years of sherry maturation. The balance is great, this doesn’t go full on sherry bomb thankfully and it keep holds of the malt and fruitiness of the 15. The extra nice stuff you get here is leather, dried fruits and more chocolate/cocoa towards the end. The combination of these flavours hit the spot for me. The price for this is a bit of all over the place, I have seen it for about £75 but then also at something close to £90. At £75 you are getting great value for money but £90 is going beyond my comfort zone. Whatever your budget, this is a good quality single malt that has wonderful flavours which are balanced exceptionally well.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com