On Monday 11th January 2016 we ventured out to the Glengoyne Distillery.
We headed up to the wee on site shop walking through a passageway created by two large white buildings lying under the shadow of the Campsie Falls. Entering the shop after strolling through the very traditional looking buildings we were met with a bright and stunning looking display, beautiful black beamed roof and a stunningly lit room that draws you from side to side as your eyes fall on each new display.
Lois was our guide, server and teacher for the day. She led us in to the house that holds Glengoyne’s boardrooms, Club Room and our Tasting Room for the day. Attention to detail is the key here with lovely rooms straight out of your ideal home show and a perfect, warming and relaxing surrounding, so bring out the malt!!!
We started the day with a 20 strong nosing set for our enjoyment and education. Linseed oil, smelling salts, lavender, honey were a barrage on the nasal passages but luckily it was done with a 10 year old malt in hand and was a good fun way to start the tour. A bit of info and technical stuff with a Glengoyne 12 year old then out.
We popped down to the belly of the beast where we had a good nose round the vats and saw the masters at work. Whilst there was a hint of modernisation around in the shape of various health and safety buttons and signs a very traditional look and feel was present. It was soon time to go back up for some more whisky, Glengoyne cask strength to warm us up on the chilly January afternoon. Lois told us some more tech stuff and quirky facts followed by lunch with a mug of tea and Glengoyne 15 year old. It was shaping up for a great day.
After lunch we popped down to the Dunnage warehouse where you get reminded of just why whisky making is so special as there were lovely casks sitting silently, maturing away in an aroma that is both pleasant, intriguing and years in the making.
Back to the classroom/tasting room to look at sherry and why sherry and Glengoyne go hand in hand. We try 3 sherry glasses: Fino, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez alongside a Glengoyne 21 year old which was delicious.
After a few more facts and info we finished with Glengoyne single cask 15 year old. Lovely, lovely dram and a great example of Glengoyne’s skill and mastery of the art that is malt whisky making.
So what did we learn? Take your time and slow it down, let the copper work and you will be rewarded, not all Highland Malts use peat, invest in your maturation vessel and lastly, believe in tradition over the times.
Glengoyne is a magical place and have some great drams that are a delight to sample, well worth the visit but don’t take my word for it, get along and see for yourself or visit the Glengoyne website I hope you do and I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
General Manager and Sommelier at Taynuilt Hotel