Sherry but… Glengoyne 18 year 43%

Glengoyne is one of those well regarded distilleries with a distinctive sherry berry quality.

Our original Mumbai whisky tasting group has sampled both a 12 and 21 year during sessions I either missed (or missed taking notes). I did encounter a Glengoyne 21 year at an ‘adult whisky evening‘ however it was curiously off, so likely not representative.

For our October session, our host was careful to ensure that while we may have sampled Glengoyne whiskies previously, what we opened that evening would be a different age statement than we had tasted together before.

As usual, we sampled blind before the reveal…


Glengoyne 18 year 43%

  • Nose – Subdued sherry, strong yet light (yes it sounds like a contradiction but true!), berries, hint of orange cake or apple crisp
  • Palate – Pungent, bitter orange marmalade, decent mouthfeel, good body, smooth, some sweet spice, quite delicious
  • Finish – Nice and pleasant

Overall we found this whisky very accessible, good aromas and gave the impression of being not fully sherry but perhaps a mix of 1st fill sherry with other casks, nicely rounding out the elements so the sherry dimension was not overpowering or too intense. In short, it was sherry but… not. Which worked!

For those of us who drained to the last drop (seemed to be all!), we were impressed by the excellent aromas remaining in the empty Glencairn glass.

For most, this was the whisky of the night!

Here is what the folks at Glengoyne have to say:

Spicy vanilla fruit, ripe apples and a rich, luxurious mouthfeel. This is the result of eighteen long years and a generous proportion of first-fill sherry casks.

  • Nose – Awash with red apple and ripe melon. Heavenly and well rounded, it drifts into hot porridge topped with brown sugar.
  • Taste – Full bodied, round and rich. At first macerated fruits, marzipan and walnuts; then warm spices, dry cocoa and lingering Seville marmalade.
  • Finish – Long, warm and dry.

What was particularly interesting is Glengoyne sharing their cask recipe which is: 

  • 35% 1st Fill European Oak Sherry
  • 15% 1st Fill American Oak Sherry
  • 50% Hand-selected quality Oak Refill casks

What else did we try in our October session?

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Mixing things up – Connemara, Glengoyne, Glenlivet

After more than five years, our original Mumbai whisky tasting group has become known for pushing the boundaries with a focus on discovering new and different whiskies.

We’ve had home-made experiments with aging, phenomenal food pairings, independent bottlers, country specific themes, unique blends and more!

Which meant it was high time to revisit slightly different avatars of well known whiskies, completely blind to avoid the influence of advertising and pre-conceived notions.


What did we try?

No strangers to these brands, we’ve even previously had a session focused on Glenlivet, a couple of Glengoynes over the years and most have separately sampled Connemara.

What made it interesting is the order…

Traditionally, we would start with the lightest (Glenlivet) then sherry (Glengoyne) and close with a peated whisky (Connemara).

Here we did the exact opposite – peat, sherry, light! With some interesting results.

Related tasting sessions:

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