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During our last holiday in the highlands in Scotland, we made a detour to the Glengoyne Distillery. The Glengoyne is a famous Scottish Whisky and the distillery that produces it is located in the north of Glasgow at the boundary between the highlands and the lowlands.

It would be inconceivable to leave the Highlands without visiting one of the many distilleries they shelter. Scotland is indeed renowned for the whisky it produces. In the area of Argyll and Bute, where we spent our vacation, the most famous whiskies are the Jura, the Tobermory, the Oban or the Talisker just to name a few.

Personally, I am not an expert but just a lover of good whisky. I am not only attracted to a particular type of whisky. I can enjoy a glass of Laphroaig well peaty and smoky that gives you the impression of having swallowed the contents of an ashtray. I can also regale myself with the more fruity taste of a Bushmills or a Jameson both from Ireland and that’ll help you keep a relatively fresh breath during a tryst. Notice I wrote relatively! Ba yes, it’s still whisky.

To go back to the main topic, we visited the Glengoyne distillery, my parents, Mélodie and I. Moreover, it was my gift to my father for his birthday and who is also a lover of whisky.

There is no booking for small groups. You simply have to go on their website and call them ahead to make sure they are not full on that day. The tours start every hour and there are several guides.

Glengoyne Distillery offers different types of tours and tastings course for every budget. My father and I opted for the Gold Medal Parade Tower while my mother and Melodie, not necessarily fans of whisky, preferred the Whisky and Chocolate Tour, which is a brilliant idea.

Our guide for the tour was John, a charming man with a very, very strong Scottish accent. Keep in mind that there is no translation and that English skills are essential to enjoy the visit.

John brought us to visit the several rooms of the distillery and taught us about the different process of making whisky. These processes are: malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and aging. And yes, it’s called a distillery, but it is not all about distillation. Overall, the facilities are very well maintained and do not seem to have been greatly changed since the creation of the distillery in 1820. We were in a small group, which facilitated the understanding when it’s not your native language. John was also very patient when we had to translate his comments to my parents.

Depending on the tour you choose, the visit may end with a tasting. This was the case for us. My father and I tasted four of their whiskeys, the 12 years of age, the 18 years of age, the 21 years of age and the Cask Strength. The latter is a kind of house blend of several of their whiskeys, which contains 58.7% alcohol. My mother and Mélodie enjoyed the 15 years of age and the 21 years of age accompanied by four pieces of chocolate (dark and milk) selected to perfectly match the taste of their whiskeys. I want to clarify that the glasses of whisky were real bar doses, about 3 to 4 ml, so someone has to sacrifice in order to drive. The others, perhaps a little bit tipsy, could nap on the passenger seats. The driver will be offered the possibility of taking their whiskeys at home.

Glengoyne whisky is undoubtedly a famous whisky. It is not a very peaty whisky but has instead a strong fruity taste. I would advise the future visitors to taste the 12 years and the 18 years of age. By testing them, it is possible to recognize the tastes of citrus or red fruit. However, to discern this you must be a connoisseur (which I’m not …) or simply listen to the guide and nod while savouring the precious liquid.

To conclude, I keep a good impression of the Glengoyne distillery and recommend visiting it.

Feel free to leave any comments on your favourite whiskeys and distilleries that you have visited.

by Matthieu