Glengoyne

The Glengoyne distillery is the most southern distillery of the Scottish Highlands. The Distillery was founded in 1833 by a local farmer called George Connell. It is an half an hour north west of Glasgow.

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Information about the Distillery
118 Bottles
Scotland, Highlands
-4.364140 56.014187
Active
1 x 12,500 l
Normal
2 x 4,000 l
Normal
6 x 19,000 l
4 t
1833
http://www.glengoyne.com/
Average Tasting Notes Calculated from 217 Tasting Notes
Nosing
Fruit
Sherry
Sweet
Vanilla
Apple
Malt
Spices
Caramel
Oak
Honey
Nuts
Raisin
Green Apple
Pear
Oil
Cinnamon
Plum
Alcohol
Chocolate
Orange
Floral
Berries
Grape
Peat Smoke
Leather
Cherry
Lemon
Banana
Dark Chocolate
Nutmeg
Peach
Fig
Dried Fruit
Grass
Heather
Walnut
Hay
Date
Ginger
Almonds
Pinapple
Coffee
Salt
Pepper
Tobacco
Coconut
Melon
Wheat
Seaweed
Grapefruit
Chili
Cake
Tasting
Malt
Sweet
Spices
Oak
Fruit
Sherry
Oil
Chocolate
Apple
Vanilla
Cinnamon
Caramel
Honey
Nuts
Orange
Dark Chocolate
Pepper
Alcohol
Lemon
Ginger
Raisin
Berries
Dried Fruit
Coffee
Peat Smoke
Floral
Cherry
Grass
Grape
Plum
Barley
Green Apple
Almonds
Heather
Walnut
Hay
Peach
Fig
Clove
Chili
Tropical Fruit
Banana
Blackberry
Lime
Date
Hazelnut
Wheat
Nutmeg
Pear
Grapefruit
Cake
Herbs
Finish
Malt
Oak
Spices
Sweet
Sherry
Fruit
Peat Smoke
Chocolate
Oil
Nuts
Coffee
Dark Chocolate
Apple
Vanilla
Alcohol
Lemon
Pepper
Pear
Cinnamon
Salt
Orange
Caramel
Ginger
Nutmeg
Cherry
Honey
Chili
Berries
Dried Fruit
Grape
Plum
Raisin
Hay
Lime
Hazelnut
Bonfire Smoke
Grapefruit
Almonds
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

The core range of official bottlings from the Western Highland distillery of Glengoyne, which lays less than a hour north west of Glasgow, includes a 10 year old, 12 year old, 15 year-old, 18 year-old, 21 year-old, 25 year-old and a Cask Strength Edition. The distillery also does a range of special bottlings, which is comprised of a 35 year old and a Teapot Dram, inspired by the distillery's tradition of giving three drams to it's stillmen during a long shift. Independent bottlings are rather rare, although during the nineties Douglas Laing did perform quite a few. These were mainly 12 and 13 year old bottlings. 

The Production

Glengoyne's production capacity stands at 1.1 million liters, and the water used in production is drawn from the Campsie Fells located just behind the distillery. The distillery uses six washback made out of Oregon pine wood in the distillation process. Glengoyne is unique because it effectively produces Highland Single Malt that is then matured in the Lowlands. It lies upon the Highland Line, which is the official division between the Highlands and the Lowlands. Glengoyne's location has also been attributed with its success, as it is one of the most easily accessible distilleries in Scotland, located only half an hour drive from Glasgow away.

A view on the Glengoyne distillery from the street.
View of the Glengoyne Distillery

The Pot Stills

Glengoyne's still room hosts one wash still and two spirit stills. The wash still has a capacity of 12'500 liters, and the spirit stills a capacity of 4'000 liters. Both the wash and spirit stills are fitted with reflux bowls in their intermediate sections. These reflux bowls increase the efficiency of the stills. The stills have a unique shape, with wide, spherical lids, which are shorter than the average ones, and spherical intermediate sections with tall conical necks, and almost horizontal lyne arms. Glengoyne enjoys the slowest distillation process in the UK, which encourages the formation of 'esters' in the spirit, giving Glengoyne its characteristically sweet, smooth taste. 

The pot stills inside the distillery.
The Pot Stills of the Glengoyne Distillery

Maltings

Unlike many other distilleries, Glengoyne does not dry its malt using burning peat, but instead uses dry air. The effect that this has is two-fold: when it arrives the distillery, the malt smells like untreated malted barley, and it means that every taste note that the drinker observes in the single malt is the product of the influence of the distillers, not the peat. Glengoyne had it's own floor maltings until 1910, since when it has bought them from a maltster. 

The mash tun inside the Glengoyne distillery.
The mash tun of the Glengoyne Distillery

The Warehouse

Glengoyne has a series of dunnage warehouses on site. The spirit is matured in oak casks from Spain, which have previously been used to age sherry. Glengoyne puts a particular emphasis on the selection of wood to be used in the casks, as they believe that the high quality of the cask is one of the elements that gives Glengoyne it's smooth, mature taste. 

The warehouses of the Glengoyne distillerie.
The warehouses of the Glengoyne Distillery

The History

A local farmer, George Connell, founded Glengoyne in 1833. The area in which it was founded was a hotbed of illicit whisky distillation, with up to eighteen illegal stills operating. Connell founded Glengoyne under the name 'Burnfoot Distillery'. It was renamed Glenguin Distillery in 1861, then, in 1906, became Glengoyne, when the Lang Brothers bought the site. Production commenced for much of the twentieth century without incident, until 1965 when Robertson & Baxter took over the site. At this point, a huge rebuilt was launched, which included increasing the number of stills from two to three. This is fairly unusual, as most of the distilleries in Scotland have an equal number of wash and spirit stills. During this time, Glengoyne also became a favorite of the late Queen Mother, earning it a 'By Royal Appointment' seal. 

After the renovation, production resumed with its normal level of quiet success. In 2001, Glengoyne Scottish Oak Finish (aged 16 years) is launched as the first single malt stored in Scottish oak casks. Two years later, in 2003, Ian MacLeod Distillers Limited bought both Glengoyne and also the brand Langs from the Edrington Group for £7.2 million. Since the Edrington Group acquired Glengoyne, the distillery has continued to release new bottlings such as a 16-year-old Shiraz finishes, two Warehousemen's Choices, and the relaunch of the 10 and 17-year-old bottlings. 

An old spirit safe.
The old spirit safe of the Glengoyne Distillery

Visitor's Centre

Glengoyne has a great visitors centre, which attracts about 40'000 visitors a year. The distillery offers a multitude of tours of the facilities, and also a gift shop and visitor's centre that gives guests the 'Glengoyne experience'. The distillery is also a popular site for wedding receptions, and it is possible to hire out the entire complex (although they probably lock up the warehouse, just in case some of the guests wanted to leave with a souvenir).

The shop inside the visitor center.
The shop of the Glengoyne Distillery

Chronological rating history

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