A Week of Glengoynes – Vertical Tasting of the Distillery Core Starting With the 10 Year Old Whisky Tasting Notes

I wrote a bit about Glengoyne in the popular post about still shapes, in which I compared three basic entry level expressions based upon the size and shape of the stills, and I included the Glengoyne 10 as the slowest distillation process. Additionally, I reviewed the Glengoyne 12 Cask Strength.

Following my visit to the TWE whisky show in London, I tasted part of the other expressions at the show and Mr. Paul Jones, from the Ian Macleod staff, arranged for me to receive samples of those missing pieces in the Glengoyne range I didn’t get to at the show, thus I can now present you with a vertical tasting of the 10-12-15-18-21-15 expressions which comprise the full core range of the distillery. I also tasted the Limited Edition 35 year old at the show, but was unable to record my tasting notes of it . I hope to get hold of it (and the 40 year old I saw at the duty free shop in Kiev) in the future.

Photo Credit: scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk

Photo Credit: scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk

Glengoyne is a fascinating distillery, as it is technically in the Highlands, but only because it sits on the north side of the road dividing the Lowlands from the Highlands. The warehouses are across the road, technically in the Lowlands. Also, the distillery uses a different strain of barley than most other distilleries – Golden Promise – which is more expensive but is considered to be of higher quality.

Although previously published, I’ll give the 10 year old its own post to make following the series easier.

Glengoyne 10 (40% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Straw, legs relatively slow and spaced out.

Nose: Fresh summer fruit (peaches, apricots and plums), fresh green grass, after a while you get a faint green apple (the bottle has it on the “official tasting notes”, but it’s nowhere near as pronounced as the green apple in, say, the Glenfiddich 12). There are some floral notes as well. After a while, or in a second dram, the Oloroso sherry notes are more noticeable.

Palate: Malt, lemon, spice (specifically pepper), soft and silky mouth feel.

Linger: Long and very peppery. Also malt notes, mainly on the back of the throat.


This is a great drinking whisky, albeit not the most complex of the range.

Obviously, the sherry influence grows as you go up the range (and really not like the PR picture shown on top where the 10 and the 21 seem to be the same hue. They’re not!) and with it the complexity of the dram. You’ll notice the sherry on this one and on the 12, but they’re nothing you’d call a “sherry bomb”. Those come later in the range (more in the 15, with the 18 leaning more to the spicy end).

This should be an interesting week – stay tuned!

This was tasted with my friend Shachaf. Slainte!


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