The 18 year old is the beginning of the “upper class” for Glengoyne. Gone is the perfumy Lowlands and the sherry and spice combine in the 18 to create a real spice banger. It’s different than all the other expressions in this massive spiciness, and makes for a great drink. This is the most “Highland” expression of the range.
I really have only one small gripe with this expression (and with the 21). I think that by this point, the range should be bottled at 46% ABV. I think it would highlight some of the sherry notes better and prolong the relatively short finish.
Appearance: Dark gold, medium thick legs.
Nose: Spices are very dominant with cinnamon, black pepper, chili pepper and clove. Underlying that is the sherry induced sultana raisins and dried apricots and some maltiness. Gone is the “Lowlands” perfume. In a blind nosing, this would be identified as a Highlander.
Palate: Cinnamon and allspice dominate the slightly dry and full body of this whisky. With the spiciness there are notes of brown sugar and dried fruit, but the 18 is markedly less sweet than the 15.
Linger: Short-medium mouth drying finish with notes of orange and cinnamon.
A true spice banger with sweet sherry notes in a dry overall delivery.
The 18 plays its own tune in the core range and fits neither into the 10-12-15 range or the 21-25. I wonder how the same cask combination would fare at cask strength…