Glengoyne 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 19 December 2018
Glengoyne Distillery is situated at Dumgoyne, on the south-western edge of the Scottish Highlands, close to Loch Lomond and to the north of Glasgow. Although distilled in the Highlands, making Glengoyne a Highland single malt, the whisky is matured in the Lowlands. This is because the distillery itself sits upon the Highland Line, the division between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland which splits the distillery in two. The boundary line runs underneath the A81 road from Glasgow to Aberfoyle and passes in front of the distillery with the warehouses located to the southwest of the road. Glengoyne is located immediately adjacent the West Highland Way, the most popular long walk in Scotland, and regularly enjoys visits from hikers.
Glengoyne is regularly referred to as the “most beautiful distillery in Scotland”. The distillery has been in continuous operation producing Highland single malt whisky for over 175 years with a current distilling capacity of over one million liters of alcohol and over 35,000 visitors annually.
Glengoyne, along with The Macallan and Bruichladdich, is one of only three distilleries remaining today that uses Golden Promise barley, which is low in yield but high in quality. The distillery’s water supply comes from the Glengoyne Burn which flows from the nearby Dumgoyne hill into the distillery grounds before continuing on to Loch Lomond.
Unlike many malt whiskies, Glengoyne does not use peat smoke to dry their barley but instead favors the use of warm air. The clear and bright appearance and distinctive flavor of the Glengoyne single malts are credited to this lack of peat smoke. This rare characteristic is utilized in the marketing of Glengoyne with the use of the promotional slogan “The authentic taste of malt whisky untainted by peat smoke”.
As a result of the use of unpeated malt Glengoyne has been noted as being stylistically closer to a Lowland single malt as opposed to a Highland single malt.
The distillery began distilling in 1833 and was known as the Burnfoot distillery. It was originally owned by George Connell who built the distillery and took out a lease on the surrounding land, on which was built a warehouse which is still in use today. In 1876 the distillery was sold, by Archiball G. MacLellen, to the Lang Brothers who were based in Glasgow. It is stated that the Langs intended to name the distillery Glengoyne, but due to a mistake by a clerk it was recorded as Glen Guin. Later, it was changed to Glengoyne which comes from Glenguin or “Glen of the Wild Geese”.
The distillery remained with the Lang Brothers until taken over by the Robertson & Baxter Group in 1965, who later became the Edrington Group. In 1966 and 1967 the number of stills was increased from two to three as the distillery underwent a rebuilding project.
In 1984 the Lang Brothers became suppliers of whiskies to the then Queen Mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s household. The Royal Warrant has since been delegated to Ian Macleod and is featured on all Glengoyne products.
In April 2003, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. acquired Glengoyne Distillery. The acquisition of Glengoyne Distillery meant that Ian Macleod became a fully integrated distiller, blender and bottler. Under Ian Macleod, Glengoyne saw a vast increase in output capacity as well as a similar rise in sales. Speaking of the acquisition and planned expansions in 2003, Leonard Russell, managing director for Ian Macleod stated “We’ll be aiming to increase sales of the Glengoyne from the current level of 450,000 liters to one million liters next year”. Later, speaking in 2005 Russell stated “we continue to make whisky exactly the same way at Glengoyne”. The original warehouse built by George Connell is still to be found on the site, as the shop and visitor reception area. Today, Glengoyne has eight working warehouses with a total capacity of nearly two million liters (4.5 million bottles) of spirit.
Glengoyne 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky
To see taste the spirit, watch my Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar tasting on YouTube here: