Glengoyne 10 Year Single Malt Scotch
Here is the amazing thing—two things—about this single malt Scotch: it’s so very good, and it’s so very cheap.
From what I can figure, and what legend tells, here is the story:
For 175 years, Glengoyne chugged quietly along making its spirit. The distillery is fixed in a curious geographic position – right on the Highland Line, which technically makes this spirit a Highlander, but the barrels are actually matured across the street, which is situated in the Lowlands. So for those of you (like me) who like to believe that you can taste the place in a dram of Scotch, this one may leave your compass—and your head—aspinning. But no matter, just keep drinking our Glengoyne until your sense of direction becomes clear again.
Our story continues: while chugging along, making kinda ho-hum single malt and seeing 60,000 visitors a year (this picturesque distillery is only about 30 minutes outside of Glasgow), somebody took notice of our little distillery–the folks at Ian MacLoed.
They noticed that all the raw material for making an exceptional and singular Scotch was there – spirit made solely from Golden Promise, a low-yield but hig-quality strain of barley (Macallan is the only other distillery to use this grain); pure water from the Dumgoyne spring flowing into Loch Lomand: two of the slowest fermenting and distilling runs in Scotland; and a huge backstock of older whiskies quietly maturing in barrel. All that seemed to be lacking was talent. And as for talent, Ian Macloed has it–in spades.
Being Independent Blenders and Bottlers for years means countless opportunities to see, taste, and age a helluva lot of Scotch. Indeed, most independent bottlers I’ve met know Scotch better than the distilleries themselves. Not only do they taste more Scotch, but they taste more single barrels of Scotch from more places, barrels, and from more types of distillers than anyone. Anyone. In other words, they know exactly what they are doing.
And so it came to be that Ian MacLoed bought Glengoyne and catapulted it from the border of obscurity and mediocrity and then plunked it into our well deserving glasses. And what a dram it is:
Never peated, this Highlander opens with spicy vanilla aromas, fruit of Brandywine and Golden Delicious apples, and touches of fig and lavender. The palate is round and generous, with notes of toffee, roasted hazelnuts, white peaches and cream. Perfect for an afternoon constitutional, the finish is clean and pure, utterly refreshing and holding serve with great length, and then ending in a note of cocoa powder and white chocolate.
And if that all wasn’t enough, here is another final factoid – at one point, Glengoyne was even the Queen Mother’s dram of choice, being awarded the Royal Warrant. I guess it’s good to be the Queen. (But it’s better to drink her Scotch). Long Live the Queen!