Review: Glengoyne 10

From the start of this year Whisky Wednesday has been the day I try a new sample. Since then, samples from different stores and several friends have passed the review. But for a sample we don’t always have to look for the hand filled variant, sometimes you can simply buy a miniature version of the bottle itself. And when I spotted this 5cl bottle of Glengoyne 10 on the shelves of my local liquor store the other day, I knew I had to bring one home for a Whisky Wednesday review.

Glengoyne prides itself on air drying their barley and never using peat. On the label of their expressions, you’ll also notice the statement “unhurried since 1833” referring to their practice of slow distillation. They claim that their whiskies spend three times as long in the still as any other whisky, and though that fact seems rather hard to check I think we can still safely state that Glengoyne takes their time to produce their single malts.

What you won’t detect in you glass is the recent overhaul Glengoyne took to their packaging. They source almost everything locally (except the corks and capsules) and they completely removed plastic, metal, and magnets from their packaging. They we’re also the first distillery to adopt a wetlands facility to manage their liquid waste. Which led them to win several prices for sustainability. The thought that they take care of the environment, makes enjoying this dram in spring – when everything in the nature surrounding us starts to come alive again – all the more enjoyable.

Tasting Notes: Glengoyne 10
Stats:

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Age: 10 years old

Distillery: Glengoyne

Owned by: Ian Macleod Distillers

Category: Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Chill-Filtered: Unknown

Natural Colour: Yes

Setting:

It was a lovely sunny day today and the dogs we’re besides themselves while running alongside the river. Back home I placed myself cozy behind the pc, with some light jazz in the background. I poured the contents of the miniature bottle of Glengoyne 10 neat into my Glencairn – stretched my fingers – and set about typing.

Nose:

The first note that comes off the glass is apples. Green apples to be precise. That note remains very dominant throughout the nose, but behind that initial blast I’m picking up on some other notes as well. There’s a nutty quality that reminds me somewhat of pecans and there’s a crème brûlèe note in here as well. With hints of vanilla making up the crème and burnt cane sugar making up the caramel layer. The nose of this dram is mouth-wateringly good. Adding water reveals some fresh cut grass.

Palate:

The fact that this is bottled at only 40% ABV amazes me, as I would easily give it more on the palate. If they would have put 46% on the label, I would have believed it as well. The mouthfeel is heavy and somewhere halfway between oily and creamy. There’s a fair bit of cinnamon spice in the dram and aside from that I’m also picking up on some fruity gum drop buttons. There’s also a type of liquorice of which I don’t quite know how to describe it in English, it’s called “Griotten” in Dutch and it’s a light brown kind of salted liquorice. I’m picking up on the faintest hint of Eucalyptus as well, which combined with all the other flavours present makes this dram considerably complex. Adding water brings forth some intensity in the tannins which were barely noticeable before. Other than that, the dram remains fairly similar.

Finish:

The finish is medium long and especially the liquorice lingers for quite some time. In fact, that’s rather all that lingers, resulting in this dram losing a lot of complexity near the end. Nonetheless, I’m still impressed with how long it lingers for that mere 40%. Water does add a few more flavours to the finish, with mainly oak popping it’s head up as well now. It does like to revert quickly to the liquorice though.

Verdict:

Perhaps I’m more impressed with this dram than I should be, given I went into this tasting with fairly low expectations because of the 40% ABV. But for that percentage this dram packs an absolute wallop. For little more than 30 euro this whisky offers some excellent value as well. I loved the nose of this dram and though the palate wasn’t my cup of tea in particular… I felt impressed with the complexity it had to offer. The only thing lacking was the finish. But at this price point you can barely expect perfection across the board. I don’t think it will be likely that I pick up a full-sized bottle of this anytime soon, but you can’t argue it’s value. And I’d surely recommend it to those who appreciate liquorice notes in their dram.

Rating:

84/100

Value:

B+

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