Those pungent peaty island malt whiskies are glorious things.
The big bold buggers have usually got a place in my cupboard.
But sometimes a chap needs a gentler tipple and, by great good fortune, I’ve been given various bottles of Glengoyne to sample
Hard work, I know, but someone’s got to do it.
The family-owned distillery is in the Highlands, close to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
They’ve been making Scotch for nearly two centuries and retain traditional methods.
The whiskies are unpeated – there’s no peat in the soil nearby – and so expect no smokiness.
The liquid is matured in sherry casks, creating nuanced flavours and adding a rich colour without the addition of caramel.
Throughout the range I’ve sampled there’s tremendous balance and, as they age, complexity.
They’re all whiskies that will find a place in my drinks cabinet.
10 year old Highland single malt
This is a very easy and uncomplicated drink – smooth, gently sweet, with a hint of pepper, crisp apples and mellow nuts. Nothing profound – something to sip as you chill after a hard day at work.
15 year old Highland single malt
Move on to this and you’ll perhaps detect roasted coffee beans on the nose, graduating to a hint of walnuts and apricots on the palate and displaying coffee again on the finish – this time with bitter notes.
18 year old Highland single malt
A gorgeously light amber liquid that shows oak, toffee apples, scorched orange and a dryness that hints almost at tobacco. There’s again a hint of walnuts, too.
21 year old Highland single malt
With the colour of aged Sauternes, this has the same taste of fresh almonds as that great wine, with notes of dry fruit and spice. Expect complex layers of spice, honey and butterscotch as you watch the legs trickle down the glass whilst you savour a gloriously rich but refined whisky.
Find out more about Glengoyne at https://www.glengoyne.com