Another first for the Kensington Wine Market’s 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar, a distillery bottling of whisky from Glengoyne. We were thrilled to put our hands on the Glengoyne 18 Year for the 2016 Calendar, the first time we have featured a whisky from this distillery in three editions. The Highland distillery located just north of Glasgow is a curiosity in that while the distillery and its water source are located in the Highlands, the warehouses just across the road are technically located in the Lowlands.
Glengoyne was officially built near the town of Dumgoyne in 1833, but distilling was taking place on the site and in the area well before the official founding date. In 1823 the Small Stills act came into force making it easier to get a license to legally distill. Distillers founded around and after this date were often caught distilling illegally, and compelled to take out a license. The town of Dumgoyne is located in an area of hills and forests known as the Trossachs. Illicit distillers, as many as 18 at time in the immediate area, would have used the vantage of the Dumgoyne hill to keep an eye out for the taxman and other authorities. The close proximity to Glasgow would have ensured a ready and thirsty market.
Sherry casks are an important part of Glengoyne’s style, here is the distillery’s take on their importance, in their own words: “Our sherry casks are rare and expensive. However, they werenâ€™t always so hard to source. In the 1870s the sherry business was booming in London, and we took the ready supply of empty casks for our spirit. The sherry-soaked wood transformed the maturation â€“ taking the flavour of Glengoyne to new heights, and the colour to rich new depths. Then the supply dwindled, and the price of each cask soared. We had a choice: switch to more plentiful alternatives, or stay true to the flavour of Glengoyne. We chose the flavour, and went to the source. We took direct charge of the entire six-year journey our sherry casks take from oak forest to Highland Distillery. Weâ€™re involved at every stage, from selection to drying and seasoning.”
The Glengoyne range offers some excellent value. Their new Glengoyne 25 Year, released in Canada this year and bottled at 48%, is one of our favourite new whiskies of 2016. $410 may seem steep, but it is worth every penny, and better priced than many other more in demand malts. The Glengoyne 21 Year has long been a favourite of our customers at KWM. It has gone up in price over the last few years, but still offers good value at $210. Tonight’s whisky, the Glengoyne 18 Year, 43%, was originally released in 2012 to replace the 17 Year. Glengoyne 18 is matured in Refill and First Fill Sherry casks.
Glengoyne 18 Year – 43% – Matured in Refill & First Fill Sherry – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: loads of Christmas cake, Eatmore (the candy bar), Judy’s nutty chocolate fudge, grilled figs and moist date squares; very soft spices (cinnamon and cardamom), dark chocolate and soft old leather; thick with some tobacco, caramel apple and candied nuts.Â Palate: big, rich, fruity and oily with more Christmas cake and Eatmore candy bars; more smooth old leather leads into gentle spices and fruity tobacco; lots of dried dark fruits, a hint of unburnt salty bacon, earthy dunnage warehouse notes and medium dark chocolate.Â Finish: long, rich, coating, earthy and subtly spicy with more smooth old leather, tobacco, Christmas cake and cold tea.Â Comment: the only thing I don’t like about this whisky is the 43%abv; I know lots of you are still lamenting the loss of the classic old MacallanÂ 18 Year; why not look for solace in this better priced 18 year old; it won’t disappoint.” - $130