"The sulphury notes are too strong for my taste, but a good sherry beast nonetheless"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
Although Glengoyne is located just north of Glasgow, the distillery’s character could as well have been coming from the Speyside region. Together with Glenfarclas and Glendronach, I guess you could label it as a quintessential example of a style that heavily leans on sherry cask maturation. Glengoyne advertises itself as a distillery where smoke has no chance to enter their spirit, since due to the absence of peat in the neighbouring land, the barley is dried by hot air. They also have one of the slowest distillation process in Scotland, which should lead to a more complex spirit, and take complete charge in the process of their sherry casks. The latter probably means that the casks are made specifically for them by seasoning them with for a few years with some type of (likely not the best) sherry. Glengoyne also present their whisky as the natural colour. I have to admit beforehand that I am not always the greatest fan of heavily sherried whisky, although I can appreciate one that still leaves room for the distillery’s character.
The first hit involves a lot of sulphur, like opening a box that contains many rubbery things. Not the best welcome that I have had, I must say, and it is fairly difficult to get pass these notes. But I manage to find whiffs of cake fresh out of the oven and a hint of fruity wine in the back. I think water might offer me a helping hand here. Yes, much more on raisin cake, black currants and cherry liquor. Very dense and thick nose. I also find red berry sauce, grenadine lemonade and a hint of orange cake. I tends to get more sour with acidic berries, while also sweetish component enter the nose with various dried fruits.
Very fierce opening, almost numbing, followed by a mixture of forest fruits, and the expected rubber. Freshly made blue berry sauce, blue berry muffins and red fruits. I find it very focussed and not that complex. Mostly on forest fruit sauce and fruit-filled muffins. Even with some water, the alcohol stays in on the front of the palate. I can say the same for the rubbery notes, which I associate now more with plastic toys.
There has been some reports about the difference in sensitivity among whisky drinkers for sulphur , plastic or rubber-like notes. I have had experience with heavy sulphur notes, I remember an independently bottled Glenrothes and the Higland Park 12 years, which makes the whisky very difficult to enjoy. On the other side I have had whisky that revealed clear sulphur notes, but was really a joy to drink, like the 1992 Glen Scotia bottled by Silver Seal that received my highest score from 2019. So for me it really depends how the sulphur notes are integrated into the complete palate. I would say this Cask Strength Glengoyne is certainly not a bad whisky,I can imagine sherry cask whisky lovers could really enjoy this beast, but it is just not an enjoyable one for me. But that’s ok, it would my budget would not suffice if all whisky would appeal to me.
Big thanks to for sharing the sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •