This cusp of a whisky – partly Highland for its distillery and Lowland for its warehouses is one of the few that are still very much family owned. And it is this fact that allows the Glengoyne (meaning ‘valley of the wild geese’) to stay true to their traditions, those that have been passed from generation to generation. The distillery does a little something deviant making it less of a highland – they shy away from using peat, preferring to air dry their barley to halt the malting process. Additionally they extend the distilling process, longer than most – processes they feel extract maximum complexity and smoothness while providing a very authentic, ‘Glengoyne’ flavor profile. Makes perfect sense now that I read the phrase across the labelling : “Unhurried since 1833”!
The barley used is also distinct and by that I mean they use the Golden Promise variety, one which is of higher quality providing a sweet, mellow wort albeit at a higher premium.
Sherry Casks, a favorite and more of a ‘must have’ amongst distillers have become quite a bit of a rarity with demands falling short since the early 1900s; there really hasn’t being enough to go by for the many whisky distilleries that have blossomed out and about. The Glengoyne distillery in particular hasn’t been spared either; but they did make some head weight by securing a private supply of European Casks. These private bodegas would secure the oak and then season the handcrafted casks with sherry that would be left to age for around 3 years or so. These “sherried barrels” would then be used to mature younger spirits or to finish the more aged whiskies.
The bottle seems to tell you a lot of what you would be expecting, right from the fact that they overlook the maturation process -“Nurtured then matured…” meaning the cumulative 6 years spent from cutting the wood, to seasoning it with sherry and then maturing their spirited preciousness for the additional span being stated-in this case 10 years.
The 10 year old Goyne, being the youngest from the lot, for one would leave you amazed by the color it carries, definitely an ode to the Sherry Cask Maturation (European and American) which adds a few more hues above and beyond what an ex-bourbon barrel would. This too proudly being mentioned on the bottle labelling- “Natural Color from time and Oak casks alone”.
From what I incur this bottling and many others except the 25 YO and the Cask strength expressions are chill filtered, so expect it to be all ‘crystal’ come cold or warmth!
ABV : 40% ABV
Eye : Yellow Gold
Nose: Sweet wine followed by tobacco leaves and fresh wood; some toffee, grapes, coconut essence and citrus along with a hint of white pepper and bits of cardamom.
Taste: Sweet Caramel, orange peels and red apples; white pepper and ginger slices.
Finish : Short, green apples and light spice.
This 10 year old is light, mild and diluted, more so on the palate than on the nose; there isnt any smokiness from the peat and though young it does hold its ground. From the first whiff you are convinced that maturation at the Glengoyne is more Sherry affinite and this 10 year old has received the same undivided love.
This dram could go well for those warm summer nights where you would rather want to dwell on something pleasant and not overly sweet; also a good choice for those days when you’re busy consumed by the telly and need something that gives you some smack! A great deal for novice sippers who are finding a means to step into heavier playgrounds.
And sharing traits of a young and mild single malt might make it a great choice for a highball if you are one to enjoy something smooth and refreshing. Else as I like it: pour – let it tease – sip – hold – down it!