Tag Archives: highland whisky

Glengoyne Distillery and Edinburgh whisky meet ups

A short 30 minute bus trip from Glasgow Buchanan bus station, passing intertwining hills and windy country roads…  BANG! You’ve reached your destination…. The Glengoyne Distillery.

Discovered in 1833, it is known for its beautiful setting just outside Loch Lomond. Glengoyne is considered a Highland Single Malt, the distillery sits on the highland line and its warehouses (across the road) sit on the Lowlands.

The distillery is also parallel to the famous walk of the West Highland Way. Many walkers have a tendency to combine their walk with a visit to the distillery.  Apparently, Glengoyne leave a whisky bottle on the fence for the walkers to take a swig from as they pass it.  A nice wee personal touch.

The waters used by the whisky comes from the Glengoyne Burn, which flows from the Dumgoyne hill into the distillery grounds.  This is where the tour begins before a short walk to the distillery itself.

I’d recommend taking the gold medal or chocolate tour, where you also get to taste four Glengoyne whisky bottles. Oh, and a free Glencairn glass thrown in as  well… standard. 🙂

Always wonder what the point is in visiting a distillery without tasting their whisky?  It’s a bit like going to the cinema and walking out half way through the film.  The tasting completes the whole experience.

Note to remember:  I paid roughly £26 for the gold medal tour. I only discovered afterwards the same tour was on groupon for half price.  Always jump on the site before you go so you’re not missing out on juicy deals.

What makes Glengoyne whisky different?

They don’t use peat smoke to dry the barley.

Glengoyne Whisky tasting 

Glengyone 12 year old- vanilla, toffee, apples, coconut

Glengoyne 15 year old –  citrusy, dry, fruity, apples, cinnamon

Glengoyne 18 year old – oaky, apples, sweeter, slightly spicy

Glengoyne 21 year old –  known as the ‘big bad boy’ rich, spicy,   100% sherry cask matured. Nutty, rich, apples, cinnamon.  Out of the three this was my favourite- rich, spicy and warm.

Everytime I added drips of water to Glengoyne whisky I felt it weakened the flavours.

 

Edinburgh ‘monthly malty’ meet up

As well as immersing myself in the whisky world, I also want to surround myself with whisky enthusiasts.  What better way to do this than through social media.  I came across a ‘monthly malt’ group, in Edinburgh, on the Meet Up app.  Organised by Justine, the group meet up (obviously) every month in a different place, whether its a pub, tasting session or whisky and cheese night.

Last night it was at the Athletic Arms- 15 minutes away from Haymarket. Really enjoyed it and was great to spend the evening with lovely people.  Who would have known people from Edinburgh could be so nice?  I joke! 🙂

The Athletic Arms had a huge list of whisky options £2.50 a time. Bargain!

I went for…

Glenfiddich 18 year old–  smooth, very smooth, caramel, toffee and fruity

Glenmorangie midwinter nights dram (limited edition) – it was ok. Not as smooth as the Glenfiddich.  This made me want to try something different. So the next one was the…

Laphroaig 18 year double cask (Islay)– Wow!  The beast of all whisky beasts I’ve tried so far. Very strong smelling, very smoky and very spicy.  I wasn’t actually averse to it.  This also made me discover Islay single malts will be the most likely whisky that I’ll add a splash of water.

 

Until next time… Slainte!

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What scotch whisky character would you take to a party?

Shortly, I’ll be launching myself into the whisky industry.  My blog will be taking a new direction and whisky will be making a big appearance, alongside communications chat.

I’ve recently been immersing myself in the land of whisky, with an aim to learn and understand as much as I can about this magical potion. There are loads of expert whisky blogs out there, but I haven’t come across many that cater for the beginner…

Join me on my newbie adventures, what I’ll learn, and the places I go to find out all about Scotland’s famous tipple.

If you’re a novice to whisky and need to find a starting point…

The Scotch whisky experience (Edinburgh)

…is a good place to start!!

http://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk

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It’s located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, a stone throw away from Edinburgh Castle.

The tour begins with a barrel ride taking you through the whisky making process (I’ll cover more of this on distillery visits).

Afterwards, you are invited into a room for a sensory experience to learn about the Scotch whisky regions. The scratch and sniff cards help define the characteristics of each area…  They also act as a teaser before the taster session.

 

It’s good to start with scotch whisky in the different regions.

 Scotch whisky characters 

I like to think of the different regions as whisky characters at a party.  They are all different and each bring something to the table. It’s a great way to remember them and also makes it more fun!!

What type of whisky characters would you take to a party?

 

 

  • Highland:  Spicy and full bodied in the north.  Light and fruity in the South. Honey, caramel, vanilla, floral finish  
  • Speyside:  Sweet aromas and rich flavours. Known for it’s sherry casks, particularly the Macallan. Sweeeeeet!    Toffee, floral notes, apple, pear, honey, grassy
  • Islay: Peated and strong flavoured whisky. There are many layers to an Islay malt, very complex, very peaty, very smoky!!
  • Lowland:  Light bodied and mild.  Grassy notes, ginger, honeysuckle
  • Campbeltown: Peaty, salty, fruity, vanilla, smoky 

My verdict:  Who would I bring to a party?  Speyside!  All about the quality, rich and sweet. Let’s face it… he’s pretty cool as well 🙂

Although, just like the Highland character… sometimes it can depend on your own mood!