The fact that this is labeled as batch ‘008’ sounds rather presumptuous, if you ask me. I don’t think there’s a whisky company that doesn’t consider rebranding their entire line every six to eight years. So, from that perspective, it’s quite something that they’ve made it to eight.
But, away with the cynical banter, onto what is actually happening here. Glengoyne is a rather interesting distillery. Beautifully located just outside of Glasgow in the ‘valley of wild geese’. Interestingly they sit right on top of the ‘highland line’. A few hundred years ago this was the division drawn to separate several tax regions in Scotland.
The north started paying per gallon of still capacity and the south for whisky produced. The Highland whisky producers also had to use local barley and were not allowed to export their whisky south of this highland line. This was the case in 1784. However, in 1823 most of these rules were abolished and the Highland producers got a huge tax cut, mostly aimed at legalizing distilling there. Before 1823 Highland Whisky producers weren’t overly inclined to have licenses for distilling because of expenses and trouble selling their product.
Over the years the exact location of the highland line has shifted a couple of times, but currently it sits right in front of Glengoyne Distillery.
The result of this is that the whisky is made in the highlands of Scotland, but it is matured in the lowlands, just across the street.
This version of Glengoyne’s cask strength whisky was matured in sherry casks and a bourbon barrel, and was released in 2020. It’s still pretty widely available, but that’s not too rare since it’s not a single cask or anything.
The typical creamy sherry notes of Glengoyne. A bit trifle-y with lots of dried fruits, dates, figs, golden syrup and toffee. Milky caramel and a whiff of vanilla. Quite pastry like, but surprisingly gentle for a whisky at almost 60% ABV.
The palate continues being rather smooth and gentle, but it’s a bit more dry than the nose and the ABV made me expect. Younger whisky at a higher ABV tends to be on the sweet side. Oak, chili, dried fruits again. Dates, plums, figs. Nutty bread with almonds and hazelnut.
The finish is a bit more sharp and does bite a bit. More pepper, but black pepper instead of chili. More oak, less fruit, caramel and toffee. A hint of butterscotch.
Well, cask is king, as some tend to say. There is a lot of wood influence, although this is the typical style of Glengoyne and not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a rather predictable whisky, and the slight inconsistency between the palate and the finish is a bit strange.
However, it still is exactly what you expect a Glengoyne whisky to be, and for people liking the style it should be a fun bottle to go through. Personally, I prefer a bit less sweetness on the palate.