5 fire-sure ways to make a boy tick (by Glengoyne)

I’m a man of simple comforts. All I need to be happy is to put on a pair of big woolen socks, watch a 1990s action movie and dip my finger in a jar of Nutella. Oh, and a whisky, by all means!

You could call me a slightly violent Winnie the Phoo of whisky bloggers (but please don’t).

On Thursday last week I ended up at Glengoyne distillery at the launch of the Glengoyne Forty (pictures in the previous post) and a preview tasting of the new 12 years old. And an overall overview of the whole range. The whole range. And some new spirits. And some food. And some more whisky. And then some more. And more. Auend muaoerr. Jaqxkeskjbh.

Now I don’t know how you would feel about such a day, but for me it was one feck-off huge honey pot I wasn’t ashamed to dig into. At Glengoyne they certainly know how to make a boy happy (without hiring strippers). They approached me from five different angles so that I couldn’t escape… and forced into being the happiest person north and south of the Highland Line. And on the very line a few times too.

1. Glengoyne Distillery. Whisky distilleries are my favourite places, I love them all. From tiny, shabby Kilchoman to gargantulous behemoth of North British (which I can see and smell from my bedroom window). Glengoyne is neither shabby nor a behemoth. Sitting quietly in the shadow of an impressive hill, in a stunning wooded valley, it well deserves its status as the prettiest distillery in Scotland (and that makes it the prettiest on the planet, right?). Whitewashed walls, a kiln roof (maltings not in use), dunnage warehouses built by George Connell (the first owner)… by the way, did you know that Rob Roy “is believed to have once escaped the law by hiding in an oak tree just 300 meters from the Glengoyne Distillery”? Well, now you do.

2. Some new-make, sir? Yes please, I’ll have 5 of those. I was treated to a tasting of Glengoyne new spirit, but not the way you know it. They drew samples at 4, 20, 60 and 160 minutes into the spirit distillation and let us try that, followed by the actual new-make, to showcase how the spirit changes during the distillation, where the house style comes from, how difficult the art of cutting the run can be and how important their super slow distillation regime is for the whisky. Now this is the ultimate whisky geek’s experience!

3. And a whisky. I had tried most of the range beforehand, but it was still a great experience to do it at the distillery. I must admit I found a whole new level of appreciation for Glengoyne malt there and then. It seems to be a shared opinion that the 17 years old is a true highlight of the lot. The thing has a spark to it, no question. It’s malty, rich, toasty, vanillish and fruity. Spirit driven, cask enhanced. Just the way I like it.

4. And a NEW whisky! Two releases sampled, the new 12 yo bottled at 43% and the Forty. Now the first one is really of interest to us, isn’t it (since most of us can actually afford a bottle). Tasted it right after the 10 yo and found it much rounder but heavier and muckier, with notes of raspberry jam, apple and liquorice. Big mouthfeel. Big promise.

5. Now feed me. And not just mortals’ food. Feed me Scottish salmon! Loch Fyne has just introduced salmon smoked over Glengoyne casks staves and marinated in the 21 yo expression of the whisky. I have tried some seriously good salmon in my time, but this blew my head and shoulders off.


Now, if you are not a whisky writer or blogger and you don’t get invited to these things (it’s a tough job, as Chris and I always say, but someone has to do it), do not be disheartened! Let your own Glengoyne Day make you tick, their visitor experience is superb and reasonably priced and if you are based in Edinburgh or Glasgow, it’s a stone’s throw away and makes a beautiful day trip. Now, if you happen to live a bit further away, say in Japan, in my humble opinion it’s still worth the trek.

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