When you’re getting into whisky, there comes a time when you are presented with the problems associated with developing and evolving tastes. The more you taste, the more your palate becomes adjusted to more robust, full drams and the more flavour it takes to satisfy.
This means that supermarket staples such as your Glenfiddich 12 and your Glenlivet Founders Reserve no longer cut the mustard, and as such they don’t actually represent money well spent despite their low price. Far better to spend a little more, and reap the rewards of your more discerning purchase.
On the other hand, not everyone can justify sipping £50+ bottles every night (or however often you choose to consume), so fortunately there is a decent middle ground which comes in the form of whiskies such as Glengoyne 10 year old.
You won’t find drams like this in supermarkets, so online retailers or specialist whisky shops are your best bet. Amazon (in the UK at least) has a really good selection of whisky, and often discount bottles that fall into the category I’m talking about. Reasonably priced bottles that are a cut above the standard, and offer a more complex and engaging experience than the usual fodder that entertains the masses at Christmas time.
The nose of Glengoyne 10 is one of tropical fruits and nuts, with a smidge of vanilla from ex-bourbon casks and some lovely sweetness from the sherry cask contribution, being matured in a combination of the two. There’s no smoke at all, and the distillery is keen to point out that they never peat-dry their barley. There’s a strong aroma of barley sugar and overall a really nice combo of pineapple, mango and cashew nut in great balance.
This excellent balance continues onto the palate where the fruits really take over and mingle with a light spiciness. There’s a lovely oily texture and the mouth-filling sweetness of concentrated barley sugar which is reminiscent of Oban 14 (which is also a west highland whisky). Glengoyne 10 is presented with natural colour, and although it isn’t advertised to be non-chill filtered I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. If any chill-filtering has taken place it’s been fairly minimal as the there is some rich flavour here, despite the 40% ABV.
The finish is medium in length and seriously well balanced. No off notes come to me whatsoever as it fades back into the nutty character first seen on the nose. Really impressive and actually this displays surprising maturity for 10 years.