Glengoyne 20 2001 Malts of Scotland

Thanks to /u/ScotchGuy_TO  for pouring this dram for us.

Still working through whisky reviews from the whisky tasting we had. This would be whisky number 8, however, in my own defense, I was super excited and took breaks when I felt like I couldn’t review anymore to clear my palate.

So we’re midway through the sherry whiskies, feeling pretty good, when our gracious host did a mid tasting switch out: The sherried blend was out, and Glengoyne 20 2001 Malts of Scotland was in.

Which was an interesting substitution: We have an independent bottler of German origin, one of which I haven’t had much experience with. Why? Germany is a far way from Canada and I can’t just pop in down there. Also the booze probably wouldn’t be allowed in, what with my babysitting government agency feeling that I’d drink it until I go blind.

Granted I am complaining about that during a large tasting, so maybe I should re-evaluate.

So we have a fully matured, independently bottled, cask strength Glengoyne. This is the second Glengoyne I’ve had from Malts of Scotland, but Glengoyne is like that one friend of yours who can change their looks with a lot of effort and look like a different person. And no, I didn’t get drunk while watching old Spiderman cartoons featuring the Chameleon, there’s people out there who are amazing at multiple looks and I am jealous.

So do I know what to expect here? Not at all. Sounds fun, let’s do this, shall we?

Price: € 250

Region: Highland

Vintage: 2001

Bottled: 2021

Cask type Sherry Butt

Cask number MoS 21013

Number of bottles: 330

Abv: 56.8%

Colour: 2.5Y 7/8

Nose: Raspberry jam, melon, banana, red fruit candy, anise Tart, fruity, bit of funk, bit of the tropics, and some candy. This is a strong, good sherry cask. Or was pulled at the exact right time. It doesn’t nose like it’s over done sherry, like a few whiskies I’ve had recently.

I feel I should make sense of the stark difference between whiskies that have been heavily sherried and what I mean when I say “sherry bomb”. In this case, we have a sherry bomb. There’s a lot of sherry notes but it still noses like a whisky. On the other hand, an over sherried whisky (again, to me, probably not to many others) only smells of the sherry notes, has nothing that reminds you of whisky at all, and drinks like other things. If you enjoy those, that’s fine!

Let’s get back to the review.

Taste: Umami, long pepper, passionfruit, cinnamon, funk/banana

Big punch of umami, tropical fruit/pepper (yay trying new spices), and some funk. I’m really digging the complexity and interesting twists and turns on this whisky. It’s well balanced, it doesn’t blow you out, and it’s really impressive.

Finish: Papaya, mint, chocolate, orange

Short finish. Like blink and you’ll miss it. Like “jokes about Napoleon that were propaganda” level of short.

Sure, it’s fruity and chocolate, and there’s a bit of mint, it goes by so quickly you barely get to enjoy it. I don’t even have time to complain and whine about the mix of chocolate and orange.

Conclusion: If that finish hadn’t been so short this would have been way up there for a whisky. Easily could have been one of the best Glengoyne I’ve ever had.

First off, I don’t think it’s a bad whisky. I think if I owned the bottle, I’d be happy with the purchase. The complexity and fun of the nose and taste, the call back to a good sherry cask whisky (something that is rarer by the day) and a lack of rough flavours means it should be very good.

My buddy says the finish should get longer as it oxidizes more. I can only speak to a fresh bottle pour. He’s done more reviews than me though, so if you ever have a chance to try this, I’d say go for it.

83/100

Scotch review #1504, Highland review #246, Whisky Network review #2211

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