The headlines have become rather depressing these days, filled with unscrupulous rogue traders and Brits abroad attempting to stem catastrophic oil spills with sporting goods and general bric-a-brac grade detritus. It’s all a tad bleak, so it’s a good thing you can always count on us to brighten your day with some whisky-related jollity.
That’s right, more drams!
Let’s take a look at the whisky…
The site of Glengoyne is steeped in legend, with numerous tales of scoundrels and historic rascals illicitly distilling the water of life. In fact, during the early 1800s there were as many as 18 illegal stills in the area.
During these days of yore (pre-Sky Plus and iThings) the locals made very rough spirit and they took it to a blacksmith who would fill it into earthenware pots. Girls from the surrounding area would smuggle the pots by sequestering them in their hooped skirts and they had quite an operation going.
So, in 1833, when farmer George Connell legally established what would later become the Glengoyne distillery, he was probably thought to be a bit of a square. Well, socks and sandals aside, we love Glengoyne – so George is alright by us. The whisky is delicious, and it bears a rather unusual distinction for a highland distillery – it’s totally peat-less! The water is unpeated, and the malt is air kilned and this creates a very smooth spirit. Another hallmark of Glengoyne is its slow distillation (the slowest in all of Scotland). The spirit comes off the still at only 4 or 5 litres a minute, encouraging flavour compounds to form which in turn creates a very sweet, supple whisky.
Perhaps most curious of all is the ageing process of Glengoyne. The highland line (the line which divides the Highland and Lowland whisky regions) runs through the distillery grounds. So Glengoyne distils at one end of the grounds, in the Highlands, and then matures the whisky at the other end, in the Lowlands!
In 2003, the Glengoyne distillery was taken over by Ian MacLeod and since then they’ve been releasing great whisky in relatively small batches, often leaving it at cask strength – all you connoisseurs out there are in for a treat.
Here’s what we’ve got on offer as 3cl samples:
Glengoyne 10 Year Old £2.35 – Sweet and soft and a Gold Medal winner at the 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Glengoyne 12 Year Old £2.95 – Buttery and biscuity with notes of lemon and spices.
Glengoyne 16 Year Old Shiraz £4.55 – Stunning Australian-Shiraz finished whisky with huge flavours of red berries and sweet spices.
Glengoyne 19 Year Old Sherry Cask £5.55 – Cask strength and sherry hogshead matured, plenty of marmalade and vanilla notes.
Glengoyne 1972 Spring £8.65 – A very special vintage from the distillery, offering apples, pears and a nose of fresh flowers.
We’ve got a couple of delicious Ian MacLeod whiskies. We’ll be getting the whole range very soon, but for now we’re proud to offer 3cl samples of:
Imperial 18 Year Old Chieftain’s Choice £4.95 – Very tasty single cask from the silent Imperial distillery – lots of body and sweetness.
Smokehead 18 Year Old Extra Black £5.35 – A very smart looking peat monster from Ian MacLeod. Big bodied with plenty of peat!
Compass Box are pretty new on the scene. They only launched in 2000, but they’ve made a big name for themselves as craft producers of an exceptionally artisan style of whisky. John Glaser, a self-proclaimed “whisky zealot”, runs the show and he’s done wonders for introducing a new generation of consumer to Scotch whisky. He’s made Scotch accessible whilst maintaining its quality. Take Compass Box Hedonism for example; it’s a blended grain whisky! – the industry didn’t even realize there was a market for it, but John’s done a brilliant job of conjuring up this enchantingly creamy, sweet and fruity flavour.
Here’s a quick run down of the samples we have on offer:
Compass Box Lady Luck £7.35 – A blended malt made of old Caol Ila and Imperial. Oily bonfire smoke with tangy fruit.
Compass Box Spice Tree £2.65 – Very spicy whisky made in specially built oak casks.
Compass Box The Peat Monster £2.45 – As the name suggests, this is a big-bodied, peaty whisky.
Compass Box Asyla £2.15 – Malty and fruity, Asyla was named for the plural of asylum!
Compass Box Oak Cross £2.35 – Blended malt with whisky from secret distilleries. Spicy and honeyed.
Compass Box Hedonism £3.35 – The aforementioned, decadent grain whisky. We love it…
– The Chaps at Master of Malt –