Unhurried: Glengoyne’s Inefficient Tradition

Glengoyne Gordon Dallas

As an Edinburgh resident, it takes a lot to entice me to walk up the Royal Mile during August. If you’ve ever been here during the festival, or worse still, worked during it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Thousands of tourists daundering along at a mind-numbingly slow pace, flyers being thrust at you from all angles, and the sound of multiple bagpipers competing with each other as they vie for the crowd’s attention. However, when an invite from Glengoyne popped into my inbox asking if I’d like to attend Gordon Dallas’ – ex-BBC broadcaster, occasional panto star, Edinburgh Fringe veteran and currently a brand heritage assistant at Glengoyne distillery – festival show, I donned my best don’t-even-think-about-handing-me-a-flyer stare and proceeded up the Royal Mile to Contini’s Cannonball Restaurant & Bar at Castlehill on Sunday afternoon.

I should mention that I first met Gordon at The Dramathon last year when The Drinks Lady and I ran the Dramathon 10k and stayed with the fine folks from Ian MacLeod at Tamdhu House. Knowing what this “smooth operator” (sorry – Dramathon in-joke) is capable of on the dancefloor only added to my anticipation of the show. And what a show. It may be titled ‘unhurried’ but the show is anything but slow. Nigh on 200 years of Glengoyne history is covered in 60 minutes; from 1833 (the year whisky was first legally distilled at Glengoyne), to former distillery manager Cochran Cartwright’s demise in 1899, right through to the present day and the distillery’s remarkably slow distillation process. Gordon has more outfit changes than an Oscars host, and manages to sneak in a three dram tasting of the Glengoyne 10yo, 18yo and Cask Strength too, with each whisky being paired with a delightful canapé from the restaurant. It’s probably the most informative and entertaining whisky hour I’ve spent this year, and well worth the money.

The show is that jam packed with info, jokes, dates, history, humour and the occasional post-watershed one liner that The Drinks Lady and I are genuinely considering returning later this week before the festival ends. It’s that good. If this sounds like something you’d like to attend (and how can it not be), tickets can be found here. The show has two sessions per day, at 12pm and 2pm, and runs for the rest of the festival (every day up to and including Sunday August 26th). There are thousands upon thousands of shows at the festival, but if you go to just one, it has to be this one.

 

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