Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Still puzzling about a pressie for a pal? There’s a stunning limited edition of just 7092 bottles from The Famous Grouse, available exclusively online and from Glenturret Distillery, Crieff, Perthshire, while stocks last.

TFG says the taste and finish are astonishing. It is creamy with a lovely round, soft mouth-feel and long, rich sweet finish. If you love The Famous Grouse you’ll recognise the Speyside fruitiness, but here it has somehow been enhanced and topped with vanilla.

The secret is in the cask - it's Scottish Oak, rather than European or American Oak that is typically used for maturing whisky.

Should you buy a bottle, priced £30, TFG will present you with a small piece of the Scottish Oak marrying cask that created it. Inscribed with your name, that little piece of history will also serve as a lifetime ticket to The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery.


Friday, December 09, 2005


"If I like a particular malt whisky, what other whiskies
might I also enjoy?"

Many people setting off on what may be a lifetime's journey of whisky exploration are puzzled by the different flavours and characteristics of whisky - particularly single malts - and wonder what a particular dram tastes like. Beginners may turn their noses up (literally) at a pungent Laphroig or Talisker and only come back to those Island drams much later on.

We're indebted, therefore to David Wishart, whose book, Whisky Classified: Choosing Single Malts by Flavour, can help not only those taking the first steps, but also more experienced imbibers. The classification system is reproduced here, by kind permission of David.

In essence what he and his researchers did was take the tasting notes from 10 whisky books published in the late 90s, along with the notes from the distillers. That produced 86 single malt whiskies, which Wishart called benchmark malts and excluded rare and premium brands that were specially aged, cask conditioned or finished. They also decided not to cover distilleries that had been demolished or are not currently in production.

A vocabulary of 500 aromatic and taste descriptors was compiled and were grouped into 12 broad aromatic features: Body (Light-Heavy), Sweetness (Dry-Sweet), Smoky (Peaty), Medicinal (Salty), Feinty (Sulphury), Honey (Vanilla), Spicy (Woody), Winey (Sherry), Nutty (Oaky-Creamy), Malty (Cerealy), Fruity (Estery) and Floral (Herbal).

Thereafter the results were fed into a computer program which pumped out 10 clusters of single malt whiskies. All the technical stuff is here: http://www.whiskyclassified.com/classification.html

Classification of Single Malt Whiskies

Cluster A ( Full-Bodied, Medium-Sweet, Pronounced Sherry with Fruity, Spicy, Malty Notes and Nutty, Smoky Hints): Balmenach, Dailuaine, Dalmore, Glendronach, Macallan, Mortlach, Royal Lochnagar;

Cluster B ( Medium-Bodied, Medium-Sweet, with Nutty, Malty, Floral, Honey and Fruity Notes): Aberfeldy, Aberlour, Ben Nevis, Benrinnes, Benromach, Blair Athol, Cragganmore, Edradour, Glenfarclas, Glenturret, Knockando, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla;

Cluster C (Medium-Bodied, Medium-Sweet, with Fruity, Floral, Honey, Malty Notes and Spicy Hints ): Balvenie, Benriach, Dalwhinnie, Glendullan, Glen Elgin, Glenlivet, Glen Ord, Linkwood, Royal Brackla;

Cluster D (Light, Medium-Sweet, Low or No Peat, with Fruity, Floral, Malty Notes and Nutty Hints ): An Cnoc, Auchentoshan, Aultmore, Cardhu, Glengoyne, Glen Grant, Mannochmore, Speyside, Tamdhu, Tobermory;

Cluster E (Light, Medium-Sweet, Low Peat, with Floral, Malty Notes and Fruity, Spicy, Honey Hints ): Bladnoch, Bunnahabhain, Glenallachie, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie, Glen Moray, Inchgower, Inchmurrin, Tomintoul;

Cluster F (Medium-Bodied, Medium-Sweet, Low Peat, Malty Notes and Sherry, Honey, Spicy Hints ): Ardmore, Auchroisk, Bushmills, Deanston, Glen Deveron, Glen Keith, Glenrothes, Old Fettercairn, Tomatin, Tormore, Tullibardine;

Cluster G (Medium-Bodied, Sweet, Low Peat and Floral Notes ): Arran, Dufftown, Glenfiddich, Glen Spey, Miltonduff, Speyburn;

Cluster H (Medium-Bodied, Medium-Sweet, with Smoky, Fruity, Spicy Notes and Floral, Nutty Hints ): Balblair, Craigellachie, Glen Garioch, Glenmorangie, Oban, Old Pulteney, Strathmill, Tamnavulin, Teaninch;

Cluster I (Medium-Light, Dry, with Smoky, Spicy, Honey Notes and Nutty, Floral Hints): Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Glen Scotia, Highland Park, Isle of Jura, Springbank;

Cluster J (Full-Bodied, Dry, Pungent, Peaty and Medicinal, with Spicy, Feinty Notes): Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Talisker.

Whisky Classified: Choosing Single Malts by Flavour, David Wishart, Pavilion Books, London 2002.

Sorry it's such a long post, but it seems to answer a lot of questions. And next time you're buying in the Pot Still, mine's a large Cluster J, thanks very much!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


The unrivalled expertise of the Glengoyne Stillmen was confirmed with their personally-chosen Single Malts taking the lead in a host of awards bestowed on the distillery in this year’s Malt Maniacs Awards in Edinburgh.

With more than 100 bottles entered into the Malt Maniacs competition, Glengoyne was certainly the big winner of 2005. The distillery took away two awards and seven medals including, two Gold Medals, three Silver Medals and two Bronze.

Ewan’s Choice, the 19 Years Old Single Malt selected by Stillman Ewan Hendry as his personal favourite, won not only a Gold Award, but was also the winner of the Highlands Award of Excellence. Judges commented that it would also have received the Top Sherry Cask Award, if the rules hadn’t prevented the same malt from winning more than one award.

The Glengoyne 22 Years Old, which was Stillman Ronnie Palmer’s personal choice, also impressed the judges. Winning the Top Bourbon Cask Award and a Silver Medal, it was described as a bit of a closet ‘sherry monster’ by the judges.

Not to be outdone, Duncan McNicoll, the longest serving Glengoyne Stillman at 27 years, was proud to hear that Duncan’s Choice, the Glengoyne 15 Years Old also received a Gold Medal. Judges described it as ‘Very complex but balanced … with a delicate palate!’

Stuart Hendry, Glengoyne Brand Heritage and Commercial Manager said: “We are delighted. No one knows Glengoyne’s Single Malts better than the men who create them and it is fantastic for us to have the quality of our malts and the excellent taste and hard work of our Stillmen recognised.”

The three bottlings will be available through specialist retailers worldwide. Stuart Hendry said: “They were intended to be exclusive to the Glengoyne Distillery shop but after we swept the board we felt it unfair to keep them all to ourselves!"

Recommended UK retail prices are Duncan’s Choice £80, Ewan’s Choice £100 and Ronnie’s Choice £120.

Other Glengoyne Single Malts to receive accolade were the Glengoyne 15 Years Old Scottish Oak Wood Finish, Glengoyne 19 Years, Glengoyne 32 Years and the Glengoyne 37 Years Old Single Limited Edition Casks.

If you're keen on any or all of the Stillemen's Choices, here are their tasting notes.

They are all unchill-filtered, natural colour, cask strength and individually numbered, limited edition single cask bottlings:

Duncan’s Choice
Aged: 15 years
Description: dark walnut colour, and fruity sweet, sherry-oak taste
Wood Type: Sherry Hogshead
Cask No: 1204
Bottle No: 1/350
Strength: 70cl 55.7% vol.
Distillation Date: 4th July 1989
Bottling Date: May 2005
Approved by Duncan McNicoll

Ewan’s Choice
Aged: 19 years
Description: dark and rich, with sweet Christmas pudding aromas
Wood Type: Sherry Puncheon
Cask No: 441
Bottle No: 1/600
Strength: 70cl 51.5% vol.
Distillation Date: 13th April 1986
Bottling Date: May 2005
Approved by Ewan Hendry

Ronnie’s Choice
Aged: 22 years
Description: hints of vanilla and coconut
Wood Type: Bourbon Barrel
Cask No: 449
Bottle No: 1/200
Strength: 70cl 53.6% vol.
Distillation Date: 23rd December 1982
Bottling Date: May 2005
Approved by Ronnie Palmer

For further information contact Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd on tel: 01506 852205 or www.glengoyne.com

See also www.maltmaniacs.com

Friday, December 02, 2005


Posted by Picasa
Three of your clubsters talked their way into the Macallan/Highland Park tasting treat in Glasgow on St Andrew's Eve.

With an eye on future events - and please watch this space very carefully for an absolutely stonking announcement - Andy, Ken and Toshie (pictured with Highland Park's Gerry Tosh in the light suit) schmoozed their way round the canapes, oysters and little bits of biscuits with dark things on the top.

The first surprise was the offer of a 'long dram' - Highland Park 18 over ice with ginger beer, lime juice and a slice of lime. I can see the purists shuddering, but this is an astonishingly refreshing drink and if the Edrington gang are happy to see their malts taken this way, who are we to argue?

After a short welcome from Ken Grier, Director of Malts from the Edrington Group, Gerry Tosh, the Global Brand Ambassador for Highland Park, took us through the intricacies of tasting, turning the glass, watching the legs, nosing and finally the tasting.

This was no stuffed-shirt session; this was an enjoyment of Highland Park at its glorious best done with panache and humour. The main part of the evening was simply a relaxing chat with people who share the love of a dram (sounds like a slogan).

I spent most of the evening ensconced at the Highland Park table, while Ken and Andy shuttled between HP and Macallan. I was honoured when Gerry opened the bottle of 16 YO that had only been on the market for three weeks, and which is duty free only.

It is a light, citrus taste with pear drops on the tongue, followed by that traditonal HP effect - dry mouth, then a sudden swoosh of flavour as it comes back to dance on the tongue.

The 25YO and the 30 were absolutes giants - but gentle giants - the 30 reminding me of Terry's Chocolate Orange , only much, much nicer.

Highlight of the night for me was Gerry's HP25 and ice cream combo - a concept that sounds so ridiculous but which works beyond all expectations. Take one spoonful of vanilla ice cream, (Gerry suggests Haagen Dazs, but any good ice cream will do) down it and immediately follow with a generous sip of HP. The taste sensation is quite extraordinary. Please do try this at home.

My overall impression of the night was that the Edrington people obviously respect and indeed revere their products, but firmly believe they are there to be enjoyed. Whether it's a dram you take straight, or with ice, ginger, or scoopfuls of ice cream, the message is the same - it's your dram; have it as you like it.

Bill Mackintosh

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Looking for a present with a difference that you know will be appreciated this Christmas? Glengoyne might have the answer with a personalised bottle of its award-winning Single Highland Malt Scotch whisky.

With a personal label on the bottle of Glengoyne 10 Years Old, 17 Years Old, 21 years old or the 29 Years Old Family Reserve, you can create your very own message. This is one present you know won't be consigned to the back of the cupboard.

Fiona Richardson, Retail Manager at Glengoyne Distillery, said: "We are delighted how popular the individual personalised bottles have proved since we launched them last year. Demand is already very high and we are certain this will grow as we get closer to Christmas."

Prices are £29 for the 10-years-old, £40.99 for the 17-years-old, £51.99 for the 21-years-old and £150 for the 29-years-old.

To order call Fiona Richardson at Glengoyne Distillery on 01360 550 254 or visit www.glengoyne.com to order online.

And while we're on the subject of Christmas ...

Whisky connoisseurs looking to get their hands on a very impressive and extremely rare single malt can now purchase Macleod¹s Extremely Rare Glen Grant 1954 Over 50 Years.

Only 100 bottles of this prestigious single malt will be available worldwide and each will come presented in a beautiful, American solid oak wooden box, the interior of which is lined in Macleod Hunting Ancient tartan. Each box also has an individually engraved and numbered gold plate and hand carved Macleod coat of arms on the outside.

This truly special malt will make an outstanding gift or collector¹s item as it is presented in a branded gift box and each individual bottle has been numbered from 1 to 100 and each has an individually numbered neck tag too.

Also included in the gift box will be a certificate of authenticity, tasting notes prepared by our Rare Malt Manager and an exclusive invitation to taste the whisky. This is a great bonus for customers who want to sample the malt but are reluctant to open their own special bottle.

Iain Weir, Head of Marketing for Ian Macleod Distillers, whose portfolio includes Glengoyne, said: "We think this is a fantastic addition to our portfolio, the rarest of the rare, and we are confident that the 100 bottles are going to get snapped up very quickly. In fact we have already taken orders."

UK minimum RRP will be £2000.

Friday, November 25, 2005


If your idea of a great weekend out is an exhausting trek around Skye’s Cuillin Hills, then the Talisker Trek next May might just fit the bill.

Diageo, the owner of the unique Skye malt, is inviting around 200 hardy souls to take part in a challenging fund-raising exercise on May 5, 6 and 7.

Trekkers who pay a £60 registration fee are expected to raise £500 each in sponsor money for the Woodland Trust that aims to plant 250,000 trees over the next three years.

Polar explorers Tom Avery and Sir Ranulph Fiennes will join participants in the first-ever Talisker Trek as they are split into teams of four to tackle the terrain around the Cullins.

They will be met at mainland airports and driven to the Glen Brittle campsite at the northern foot of the Cullins where the adventure will start. After an overnight stay groups will spend Saturday on a full day’s trek. Saturday evening dinner on the beach (weather permitting) is followed by a good night’s sleep under canvas.

The final day will see the hardy band arrive at Talisker’s Carbost distillery for lunch and the tree planting.

For registration details, go to http://www.taliskertrek.co.uk

Thursday, November 24, 2005


The Lismore in Partick is getting into its St Andrew's Day stride early. From Sunday, Nov 27, mine host Stephen McBride will be presiding over whisky-tasting sessions that will run through till Nov 30.

On Sunday at 2pm Isle of Jura is in the spotlight, with the 10YO and 16YO.
The rest of the week will have two tastings - at 2pm and 8pm.

The programme is:
Monday 2pm Ardbeg
8pm Glengoyne 12 and 17

Tuesday 2pm Glenfiddich range
8pm Old Pulteney and Old Pulteney Liqeur

Wednesday 2pm Macallan 10, 15, 21 and Fine Oak
8pm Glen Garioch 15

On St Andrew's Day there will also be live music. There's no need to book - just turn up and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It’s a win-win situation. You get a bottle of top-line malt AND help the environment at the same time. Plus, you’re laying down the future barrels that The Macallan will harvest in the mists of time to provide future generations with more of the same.

The Macallan distillery on Speyside is offering individuals the chance to buy their own little piece of Scotland – an oak tree on the historic Macallan estate.

One thousand new oak saplings are being planted in the grounds of Easter Elchies House – the 17th century Jacobean manor at the heart of The Macallan Estate – as part of a major woodland regeneration programme involving more than 4000 indigenous trees.

Fans of The Macallan will be able to purchase a special package for £95 (plus postage + packaging), which includes their own oak sapling and a limited edition bottle of The Macallan, hand-labelled and numbered at the distillery. “The Macallan Woodland Estate” is a 12-year-old Sherry Oak expression, released in recognition of the very special role that oak plays in the maturation process.

Buyers will own a specific tree identified by a plaque, which will bear their name and the number of their bottle, with a certificate of ownership outlining where it is situated. Proceeds will be invested into continuing woodland regeneration.

The first oak was planted on Tuesday, November 15 at the Craigellachie distillery by estate manager Stuart MacKenzie and distillery manager, Alexander Tweedie. The pair toasted the launch of the scheme with a dram from the first “Woodland Estate” bottle.

Purchasers will be able to visit their own tree once the planting is complete and their names will be entered into a register to be held at the distillery. Interested parties can order their trees on a first come first served basis through the Macallan web site – www.themacallan.com - or by calling the Order Hotline on +44 (0)1642 864 985.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


BEING a journalist has its perks ... and its pitfalls.

Presented with an invite to the launch of the Highland Park 15 and 30-year-olds at Whisky Live I prepared thoroughly: took some Sudafed to get rid of a sniffly nose... then forgot to get some decent grub inside me.

We were ushered into the tent where the tasting was to be held and it was a bit like wandering into the distillery barrel store: the smell was astonishingly strong.

No wonder. There were 60 places set for the Whisky Live tastings to be held later in the day and it was meaty stuff. Enough to make the head swim on an empty stomach.

Disappointingly the HP 15yo left no impression, and my notes say simply: unmemorable.

I may live to regret that as the 18-year-old was a complete contrast and an immediate favourite and I have perfect memory of how much I enjoyed it. Big nose, full and some seaweedy-tangy. Honey, vanilla and - cigars (maybe not such perfect recall) - on the palate. Wee bit peat later on. A glorious dram. I'll buy a bottle.

The 30-year-old left me unmoved. It was rummy sweet and I was still slavering over the 18-year-old. A guy could get locked up for that!

Brand ambassador Gerry Tosh runs a fine tasting and left me hoping to get up to Highland Park for a visit round the distillery itself. I'll make sure I'm well fed beforehand!

Macallan was next up with a tasting of its Fine Oak range.

12-year-old Fine Oak - Pale straw, fruity. Luscious. Sherry, vanilla becoming toffee.

15-year-old Fine Oak - Rich straw colour, full aroma - possibly roses. Rich chocolate and orange on the palate (host mentioned raisins but not for me). Lingering flavour with rich chocolate, dried orange. Sells 12,000 cases in the US. Chocolate/orange comes from European oak casks

21-year-old Fine Oak - Light amber colour or deep straw. Very rich vanilla-ish aroma, almost aromatic - someone mentioned ripe melon. Rich and spicy on the palate - not such a kick - softer, woody? (I've also written peaty, but loads of questionmarks beside that). V.soft and v.easy to drink, especially with water - 75% whisky, 25% water.

30-year-old Fine Oak - Wow! Burnished gold colour. Woody, more mature - orange, but much much more. Loved this one. I could drink it all night. Satin smooth, slips tumbling through the tastes. Preferred it neat.

1965 - a special treat. From bourbon barrel. Deep dark colour with "bits". Em - custard! Vanilla on the nose and apple - but custard and apple. Woody on the palate, but a short finish.


Saturday, October 15, 2005


A number of people seem to have been put off by the word 'malt' in the club's name and after a fair amount of reflection over a dram or two (any old excuse) we've decided to drop malt from the title (but not from our intake) to reflect the fact that many like a blend just as much as a single malt. From now on we'll be glasgow's whisky club and the website will be www.glasgowswhiskyclub.blogspot.com You can e-mail us at glasgowswhiskyclub@bluebottle.com or post to the blog

A Square Go

It took a Scotland win over Slovenia to provoke Young Eck into jotting down his thoughts on Whisky Live at Glasgow. But like an ageing whisky, it was worth the wait!

The sequel is rarely as enjoyable as the first instalment and this certainly holds true for Whisky Live 2: Back in George Square. While the audience increased three-fold, many of the stars from the first show were absent.
Still, inside the marquee, once one blocked the constant din from the gross Isle of Jura stall, there were some fine whiskies to suit everyone's taste. With five tokens in hand and constantly fumbling while watching to see if my temporary host would demand payment I visited a trusted old friend ... Balvenie. This is how the day unfolded.

1. Balvenie 21-year-old, cask strength, 51.2%.
This refined yet exaggerated that classic Balvenie taste that makes it my favourite whisky. Smooth yet spicy, gentle and lasting. A real late night whisky, classic Speyside.

2. Glenfiddich 30-year-old cask strength, 53%. A rounded near-perfect whisky.
Worth noting both were poured from casks in the marquee.

3. Dewar's 18-year-old blend. 43%.
For those who turn their nose up at blends, try Dewars. Not the White Label but the 12-year-old blend which I have at home. I was curious about the 18 and was not disappointed,. Easy drinking, a great whisky for reflective moments.

4. Springbank 15-year-old. 46%.
Springbank is a wonderful whisky and the 15 a fine progression from another favourite the 10 year-old.

5. The Speyside, 12-year-old. 40%.
A curious whisky - not as smooth as one would expect but with more bite than Dewars for example and therefore for wintry evenings. The company offered a range of its own bottlings and I went onto try its Littlemill 1984 - which is an acquired taste which I have yet to acquire.

That finished it well... until I heard of a 30-year-old Highland Park being opened. It was a bit gimmicky as it was announced over the tannoy but then that was part of the problem. I tried it and it was disappointing, a bit like Whisky Live 2.
But then again, who needs Whisky Live when you have Glasgow's Whisky
Jim, Ken and Julia from the club were present.

Now we just need Ken S to report on his Highland Park tasting on the Friday, his marathon session on the Saturday and the progress he's making in finding and buying a disused distillery .... this being not unconnected with the marathon session!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


It was an intriguing scenario - five whiskies and only one of them Scotch. Could we tell the difference?

That was the challenge set by Frank at the Pot Still when he hosted a World Whisky Selection. A small turn-out of diehards set to the task with relish (I'LL do the jokes about burgers, thank you).

Helped by Frank's Aroma Wheel or Spider-Gram and the Six Steps to Deciphering a Single Malt, we were all set.

The crash course in terminology provided the first hint of confusion. We got Oily, Sweet, Phenolic, Aldehydic, Cereal, Feints and Estery, but no-one, including Frank who'd ... 'borrowed' the Aroma Wheel from a tasting at Auchentoshan, could remember/work out what TIA stood for.

As we went from one dram to another, it veered from This Is Acceptable, to Take It Away. Somebody told me what it meant a few days later ... but, sadly, I've forgotten. Answers on an e-mail, please.

Anyway, to the selection.

First up was a Milford 12YO from New Zealand. 43% NCF. One or two people found it a light, refreshing dram with a peppery nose. Others found the finish short and overall it finished last in an informal sounding.

Next was the Hakushu 12YO from Japan. 43.5% The largest malt distillery in the world, it was a typical Highland dram with heather and honey and a long finish.

Then it was the only Scottish whisky in the test. Morrison Bowmore's Rob Roy 40% is a blend of Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glengarioch. It was light gold but big everywhere else. Definitely one to stick on the shopping list.

The second most popular was the Amrut Single Malt from India. It's aged in oak barrels, but only for three to four years. A third of the total volume is lost during maturation because of the very cold winters and fierce summers (it's microwaved, says Frank) but it was a remarkable whisky, very reminiscent of Speyside with an oak taste.

Top of the bunch, however, was a Canadian rye - Crown Royal at 40%. The colour of decking varnish, there was fruit and oak, along with furniture polish (beeswax?) All right, it was the last dram and I'd run out of 'smooth', 'oily' 'gentle' so you're getting decking varnish, beeswax, Airfix glue (well, I liked the smell of Airfix!!).

It was a good night, though, and opened a lot of eyes on the potential of drams from furth of Scotland.

Maybe we'll get round to them when we've tasted all the indigenous drams!

Thanks again to Frank and the Pot Still staff for the purvey.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Just a final word on our Glengoyne outing. It was a bit of a surprise for some of us when we clambered up the stairs for our first dram and were met by tour guide Bill McDowall (above). Bill worked as a journalist with some of us and was the subject of no little envy when he beat the guard towers, searchlights and attack dogs to escape into the real world. He was a genial and genuine host on the outing and proved that there is hope for the rest of us. I've sent our CVs to Bill in the hope the distillery needs another 15 tour guides!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I thought it might be interesting to have a comparison of the various expressions bought by clubsters after the Glengoyne trip.

Alex, below, bought the Glengoyne Limited Edition Scottish Oak Wood Finish. The casks were exclusively crafted for the Glengoyne Distillery.

His notes are as follows:
Scottish Oak Wood Finish.
Limited Edition No. A2016
43% vol.

Colour: Sunset, an orangle glow in a glass.
Nose: Sweet apple and liquorice with a hit of vanilla.
Body: Rich and layered.
Palate: Toasted malt, hot and spicy yet sharp and slightly sweet. Typically Glengoyne with Scottish Oak providing the edge.
Finish: Explosive and long. A campfire dram.

Andy, below right, bought the 12-year-old Cask Strength.ABV 52.7%
His tasting notes:
I've never been able to master the subtle hints of heather or limey under tone, so this will definitely read like a philistine's tasting notes!
This malt is wonderfully different from my usual, more peaty tipples. The nose is light, clear, rich and full of life. No peat, or other heavy aromas.
Taste it and, despite the fact it's cask strength, that tongue-numbing alcoholic nastiness that has you reaching for the water jug is absent. The clarity remains, the richness is enhanced. Very, VERY smooth, yet still exploding with complex flavours.
As I swallow, an almost buttery richness fills my head, but still with no fuss or excessive weight.
This is a light, yet full, flavour-packed malt. There are none of the sharp (I daren't say harsh) edges of many other cask-strength offerings. There is an unexpected depth - that extra dimension that can lift a malt to the level of extraordinary.
Something different, great value, and terrifyingly easy to drink. A real winner.

Toshie also bought the 12-year-old Cask Strength. 57.2% ABV.
Natural colour, unchill-filtered

Tasting Notes
Colour: Golden/amber
Nose: Sherry, apple crumble
Palate: Sweet and fruity
Finish: Long and fruity, hint of liquorice aftertaste. Perfect for the end-of-evening when a contemplative malt is needed before you make for the stairs (after a second one, perhaps!).

Friday, July 22, 2005

The newly-formed Glasgow Malt Whisky Club has made its first outing - to Glengoyne Distillery a few miles from the city in beautiful rolling countryside. For those who don’t know it, the distillery is neat and in a spectacular setting, with its own waterfall and woodland walks. More importantly, it serves some delicious drams!
Our first, welcoming glass was the standard 10-year-old, a light, eminently quaffable malt, followed by a much more complex and rounded 17-year-old. Before a tour of the distillery we sampled a 12-year-old cask strength which was light years away from the standard offering and was perceived by many of us as being the best of the day so far.
Better, far, far, better was to come. After the tour of this Highland distillery (it sits just inside the Highland Fault) we crossed the road to the warehouses where the ‘long sleep’ takes place – in the lowlands!
Perhaps this is why many regard Glengoyne as more typically lowland than Highland.
Back to the shop for a more leisurely tasting including a 21YO, a 31YO cask strength and an incredible 31YO single cask at 51.8%. A newer addition to the range, the 15-year-old Glengoyne Limited Edition Scottish Oak Wood Finish (43% Alc./Vol), was a magnificent expression, and the final dram of the day
(Except for the OTHER drams we sampled in the Pot Still later that evening)
A wonderful experience for our maiden voyage and for many the beginning of a long relationship with this fine distillery.