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Friday, July 29, 2022

Things I Really Drink: Glengoyne 12 year old

Unlike most of Glengoyne's standard releases, which tend to feature first fill European oak sherry casks, the 12 year old provides drinkers with a glimpse of the distillery's spirit. This makes the 12yo, with its 60% refill / 20% first fill bourbon cask / 20% first fill sherry cask mix, a perky sparring partner with Monday's and Wednesday's Glengoynes.

Upon Dr. Springbank's return from a Binny's trip in Chicago, he and I split the contents of 750mL bottles of both Glengoyne 12 and Compass Box Orchard House. We'd thought they'd be of similar quality, but they really weren't. The Orchard House was the most disappointing Compass Box expression I have tried so far. Meanwhile Glengoyne 12 year old...

Pic pilfered from Binny's

Distillery: Glengoyne
Owner: Ian MacLeod Distillers
Region: Highlands, but right on the border
Age: at least 12 years old
Maturation: 60% refill casks + 20% first fill bourbon casks + 20% first fill sherry casks
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered? Probably
e150a? Possibly not
(from a 50/50 bottle split)


It's a little fruit basket. Pears, apples, pineapples, citrons and a hint of floral yeast appear in the nose first. Smaller notes of pine, brine, bubblegum and toasted oak float around the edges. Toasted barley, tart kiwis, tart cherries and jalapeños lead the palate. Raw walnuts, cloves, toasted shredded coconut and a good bitterness ease in later. It finishes with tart cherries, mint leaves, salted toasted mixed nuts and flash of lemony eau de vie.


With Glenlivet 12 going for $40, Glenfiddich 12 for $43, and Glengoyne 12 at $45 at the Illinois retailer, there's really no competition. Friendly but full of character, Glengoyne outclasses them from first sniff to last sip. It reads neither mass produced nor neutered, and its fruity youth works in its favor. Whether in a Glencairn or a tumbler, neat or on ice, it's a bright spring/summer daily drinker. I look forward to getting a whole bottle of my own, though not in my home state where the price is pushing $60.

Availability - many whisky retailers worldwide
Pricing - $45-$70 in the US, $40-$65 (w/VAT) in Europe
Rating - 84