Compass Box The Circus Review

“There’s No Business Like Show Business”

Whisky Review # 644

Country: Scotland
Brand: Compass Box The Circus (Limited Edition)
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 49%
Maturation: Pre-Blended and then married in Sherry Butts
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 250-300 (September 2017)
Buying Advice: πŸ˜’ Interesting but too expensive for what it offers.

Colour: Golden Amber - Bronze (Natural Colour)

Nose: Much lighter than I expected. My first impressions are Sweet Wood, Hay, and Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup. A little Varnish as well. Make sure to give The Circus enough time in the glass. The Grain Alcohol is clearly noticeable but certainly not in an aggressive way. The overall impression is a little Dusty & Musty with both Sweet and Sour notes. After a while I find Apple Strudel with a generous portion of Rum or Brandy-Soaked Raisins and Sultanas. I also identify Toasted Nuts and Cereals, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Nougat, Blackberry Jam, Dusty Road, Orange Liqueur, Peaches with Whipped Cream, Cinnamon, Ginger and hints of Tobacco and Leather. It's not bad and certainly interesting but there is an old and slightly tired feel to the nose of The Circus.

Palate: Again not as intense as I was expecting. The Grain Alcohol is certainly more noticeable now. I find Toasted Cereals, Toasted Hazelnuts, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Apricot, Caramel, Butterscotch, Brown Sugar, Nougat, Sugared Strawberries, Vanilla, Treacle, Dusty Road, Apple, Pear, Orange Liqueur, Cocoa Powder, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Varnish and some hints of Leather, Tobacco and Espresso.

Finish: Light, a little Sharp and on the Short side. Sweet at first but with quite a few Bitter Wood notes towards the Dry end. I find Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit and Toasted Nuts, Orange Liqueur, Grapefruit Juice, Menthol, Ginger, Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove and hints of Tobacco, Polished Leather, Bitter Chocolate and Espresso.

Drinking Advice:
I added a few drops of Water and some of the Fruity notes on the Nose open up.  Tinned Peach and Pineapple come to my mind. The added Water reduces the impact of the Alcohol in the Finish. On the Palate it becomes a little Thin though despite the high ABV. You can certainly experiment with a few drops at a time.

Rating: 83

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21

General Remarks:

The Circus was launched in March 2016. It is named after the 1928 Charlie Chaplin silent movie. Like a Circus, this Blend seeks to offer a moment of magic! It's a very limited Edition and only 2490 bottles went to the market. Compass Box is known for its battle with the Whisky authorities as it favours the total disclosure of Blended Whisky components. This is not the case here however. Like The General, launched in 2013, The Circus was blended at a young age and subsequently married in Sherry Butts for 1/3 (Grain) and 2/3 (Blends) of the total maturation time. There are 4 main components in this Blend. Blended Scotch Whisky represents 57.2% and was married in Refill Sherry casks for a long time. Blended Scotch Grain Whisky represents 26% and was married in Refill Sherry casks for a long time. A Benrinnes Single Malt Whisky represents 15.4% and matured most likely for around 10 years in a First Fill Sherry butt. The last component representing 1.4% is a second batch of Blended Scotch Whisky and was married in Refill Sherry butts for a long time. I would roughly guess that the Grain content totals 60-65% and the Malt content 35-40%. Not much is known about the contents of the Blended part, not even to Compass Box themselves. It is possible that Single Malt from Glen Ord is part of the recipe. The Circus will be difficult to find these days.

Drinking Experience Neat: Interesting but lacking balance.

Conclusion: The Circus might be a perfect name for this Blend but perhaps not quite the way Compass had in mind. Because while this Blend is certainly quite interesting to nose and taste, it also seems to miss balance and direction. It's a bit like the horses and other animals running around in circles in the ring. It's nice to watch but they aren't going anywhere. This is the general feeling I have after having nosed and tasted The Circus. There are some nice notes there but also Varnish, Sharp Alcohol and Bitter Wood. It's a bit of a mixed bag I must say. And much lighter than I expected. Certainly not a Sherry Bomb. So while I enjoyed the tasting experience it's hard to recommend buying a full bottle as it's quite expensive. I was never much of a Circus guy anyway and this Blend hasn't changed my mind.

Jan van den Ende                                                             September 18, 2017

Benrinnes Distillery - Visit May 2014

Glen Deveron 10 Years Review - Glen Deveron 16 Years Review

Glen Deveron/Macduff Special”

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whiskies:

The Macduff distillery was founded in 1960 and was bought in 1972 by William Lawson Distillers. Since then, most of the Macduff Spirit is used for the well-known William Lawson's Blend. Since 1993, the distillery is owned by John Dewar & Sons Ltd (Bacardi Group). Official Distillery bottlings of Single Malt have always been released under the Glen Deveron brand name. Macduff is known as Glen Deveron as well because it was constructed next to the River Deveron. In 2015 the new core range and packaging was released under the name The Deveron. It consists of the 10, 12 and 18 Years. Macduff produces around 3 million liters of Spirit per year (2017).

The 10 Years I'm reviewing today was part of the old Glen Deveron core range that was distilled and bottled before 2015.

The 16 Years I'm reviewing today was launched in 2013. Together with a 20 and a 30 year old it forms The Royal Burgh Collection, a Travel Retail exclusive at first. In the meantime however, it is available elsewhere as well. The collection commemorates the Royal Burgh of Banff, the old sea port beside the distillery granted charter by the Scottish King Robert II.

Whisky Review # 642

Country: Scotland
Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Glen Deveron
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon and Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes  
Price Range: US$ 30-45 (September 2017) 
Buying Advice: πŸ˜’ Not recommended.  

Colour: Full Gold (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Relatively Young and Edgy, Simple, Sweet and Sour, Malty and Citrusy. A  few Floral notes as well. I find Toasted Breakfast Cereals, Oat Meal, Caramel, Toffee, light Vanilla, Yeast, Pine Needles, Dusty Road, Nut Shells, Orange Peel,  Apple Vinegar, Green Wood, Condensed Milk, Dried Fruit, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger. Most of the above are mere hints. Cereals, Citrus, Orchard Fruit and Green Wood are the main drivers. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. There's not too much to get excited about actually.     

Palate: Young, Thin and Bitter-Sweet. I find Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Treacle, Grass, Straw, light Heather-Honey, Orange, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Vanilla, Menthol, Licorice, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Dusty Road, Green Wood and a bit of Lemon Zest. 

Finish: Quite Short, Bitter-Sweet, Rough and Nervous. A rather unpleasant Metallic off-note towards the end. Sharp Vodka-type Alcohol notes. I also find Toasted Grain, Nut Shells, Caramel, Toffee, Green Wood, Green Apples, Straw, light Licorice, Menthol, Pepper and Nutmeg.

Drinking Advice:
The Glen Deveron 10 years completely disappears as a Single Malt Whisky after adding a few drops of Water. Is that good or bad? You decide! 

Rating: 75.5

Nose: 20 - Taste: 18.5 - Finish: 18 - Overall: 19 

Drinking Experience: Okay/Below Average


It might be good Blend fodder but this Glen Deveron 10 Years doesn't present sufficient Aromas and Flavours to consider it as an interesting Single Malt. It's mainly Cereals with a bit of Citrus, Green Apple and a few Wood Spices. It's quite Watery and Thin and the Wood Management is indifferent. The percentage of Sherry casks is either low or the casks weren't very active. The Finish is too Short and too Sharp and the Metallic off-note should not be there. Not a Single Malt I would recommend. There are lots of better entry alternatives.   

🍷  The Spirit:

The Macduff Distillery has a very unusual uneven number of Stills. Two wash stills and three Spirit stills. The Lyne arms have various angles and produce a medium-bodied Sweet Spirit. The Malt is unpeated but the Water is sourced from the Gelly Burn and passes over peaty soil.

Picture Credit:

🌲  The Wood:

I have no specific information on this issue. Based on the Nosing and Tasting I would assume that both the 10 Years and 16 Years matured in mix of Bourbon and Sherry casks, the majority probably consisting of Refill Ex-Bourbon casks. I believe that the percentage of Sherry casks was certainly higher in the 16 Years.

Whisky Review # 643

Country: Scotland
Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Glen Deveron (Royal Burgh Collection)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 16 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon and Sherry casks. 
Chill Filtration: Yes  
Price Range: US$ 60-80 (September 2017) 
Buying Advice: 😐 Okay if you can find it at around 60 US Dollars. 

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Clearly more Sherry cask influence here when compared to the 10 Years. I get a little Sulphur as well but it's within limits. The Alcohol is still noticeable but not in an aggressive way. Cereals, Citrus and Orchard Fruit remain in the lead but the balance is much better here. I find Sweet Barley, Pancakes with Golden Syrup, Buttered Toast, Heather-Honey, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Fresh cut Hay, Pine Needles, Apple Pie with Whipped Cream, Citrus Peel, Mandarin Juice, Dried Fruit, Hazelnuts, Cocoa Powder, Oak, light Spices, light Mint and Dusty Road. The Nose of the 16 Years is not breath-taking but much better and more pleasant than the 10 Years.

Palate: Rather Thin delivery. This Malt deserves an ABV of 46% and deserves to be bottled without adding Caramel. On the Palate, the 16 Years is mostly Sweet but there are some Sour and Bitter notes as well. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Nuts, Cocoa Powder, Green Apple, Pear, Heather-Honey, Oak, Mandarin Juice, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, a little Sulphur, a bit of Lemon, Menthol and the faintest hint of Peat.

Finish: Middle-Long. Mainly Sweet but with some Sour Notes and Bitterness from the Oak as well. I still get a little Metal right at the end but it's more in the background here. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Tart Green Apple, Pear drops, Orange Peel, Mandarin Juice, Earth, Heather-Honey, Pepper, Cloves, light Nutmeg, Salted Peanuts, Menthol and a vague hint of Strawberry flavoured Yogurt.

Drinking Advice:
I added a few drops of Water and although the overall Aroma and Flavour profile does not change a whole lot, you do get rid of some of the Alcohol and Bitter Oak notes. It gets a little too Thin as well in my opinion but you can carefully add a few drops in this case. As I bought a full bottle of the 16 Years at the Duty Free Shop I also experienced it over a little Ice. Quite pleasant actually. 

Rating: 82 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5 

Drinking Experience: Good


On the basis of these two Glen Deveron expressions I can safely say that the Single Malts produced at the Macduff distillery are not among my favourites. Having said that I feel that the 16 Years does have potential. It just needs to be bottled at a more adequate ABV and without adding Caramel. A few more active Sherry casks would help as well. Still, the 16 Years is way better than the 10 and at around 60 Dollars for a liter it's certainly worth exploring if you like the general Aroma and Flavour profile where Cereals, Citrus, Orchard Fruit, Oak and Wood spice are the main drivers. For the time being, Macduff's main task is to produce Spirit for Blends. I do hope however they will invest some serious time and effort in their Single Malts as well. As always, the Spirit deserves it! 

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 11, 2017

Macduff Distillery

Glenrothes 1998 Review

“Blend Me Or Shape Me”

Whisky Review # 641

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenrothes 1998
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: Around 12 Years (Bottled in 2011)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Bourbon - and Sherry seasoned casks. 
Chill Filtration: Yes 
Price Range: US$ 50-70 (September 2017) 
Buying Advice: πŸ˜’ Negative Price/Quality Ratio. Indifferent Wood.  

Colour: Dark Gold with hints of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose: I'm not too impressed to be honest. I'm not at all sure if I would have recognised this as a Single Malt in a blind tasting. I do get some Refill Sherry Casks as well as some Sulphur but as a whole this comes across as an improved and less aggressive version of the Select Reserve. On the Nose this Glenrothes is rather Light with Floral (Honey) and Citrus (Orange and Lemon) in the lead. I also find Pancakes with Maple Syrup, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Butterscotch, Nut Shells, a bit of Dried Fruit like Raisins and Apricot, Strawberry Yogurt, Apple, White Grapes, Mango, Green Wood, Green Vegetables, Milk and Ginger. Perhaps the faintest possible hint of Smoke. I'm not sure though. The Alcohol is there but not as Sharp and Edgy as in the Select Reserve. All in all a bit of a mixed bag!

Palate: The Alcohol is more noticeable now and I get some Sulphur again. I find Sugared and Toasted Breakfast Cereals, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Straw, Nut Shells, Refill Wood, Honey, Green Apples, Pear, Orange Juice, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mint and Cappuccino.

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Malty and Spicy. Rather Thin and Rough though. The Alcohol is more noticeable and there's a slight Metallic off-note right at the end. I find Malt, Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Nut Shells, Honey, Refill Oak, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Lemon and Mint. Sugared Orange Peels perhaps. Dried Banana Chips after a while.

Drinking Advice:
The Glenrothes 1998 does not improve with added Water. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 81.5

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The Glenrothes distillery is located in Rothes (Morayshire) and was founded by James Stuart & Company in 1878. Between 1963 and 1989 the number of Stills increased from 4 to 10. The reason was that Blenders highly appreciated the Glenrothes Spirit and used it in great quantities for Blends like the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. The distillery is owned by the Edrington Group since 1999 but the brand name was sold to Independent bottler Berry Bros & Rudd in 2010. The current production amounts to around 4 million litres. Because of the Blender's demand, the first Single Malt was only launched in 1994. Their bottles are quite interesting and different. They actually look like hand grenades!

The distillery is well-known for its Vintage expressions. The 1998 was the first Single Malt released by Malt Master Gordon Motion who replaced John Ramsay when the latter retired. It was also the first vintage that was designated as a vintage right after distillation. Before that, the vintage expressions were composed of existing stocks.

🍷  The Spirit:

The five pair of Stills possess Lyne arms with different angles. Together with a slow distillation process they produce a medium-bodied Fruity, Spicy, lightly peated Spirit. The Water is sourced from the Ardcanny Spring.

🌲  The Wood:

The 1998 Glenrothes matured in a mix of around 2/3 Ex-Bourbon casks and 1/3 of casks that were seasoned with Oloroso Sherry from three different producers in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain).

Drinking Experience: Okay/Good


For the time being I'm not the # 1 fan of this Distillery. The 1998 is not really a bad Single Malt but it does suffer from slightly indifferent Cask Management. I know many people do not care a lot about Sulphur or don't even notice. But I'm not one of those I'm afraid. In the last 5 years I've become quite aware of the overwhelming importance of Wood and Wood treatment in making a good Single Malt. Without it you create a Whisky that might be an excellent ingredient for Blends but simply can't quite convince as a Single Malt. Glenrothes is a relative new-comer to the Single Malt market and profit wise their steady supply to the Blend Industry is probably much more important at the moment. I do hope however that times will change and that somewhere in the future we will be able to enjoy a well-matured 15 year old Glenrothes. The Spirit deserves it!

Jan van den Ende                                                               September 7, 2017

Lagavulin 8 Years 200th Anniversary Edition Review

“That’s The Way Islaykit” 

Whisky Review # 640

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Lagavulin (Limited 200th Anniversary Edition)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 8 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: American Oak Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Likely
Price Range: US$ 60-70 (September 2017) 
Buying Advice: πŸ˜€Positive. Expensive but this is what Islay is all about! 

Colour: Pale Straw/White Wine (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: On the Nose, this 8 years hides its youth quite nicely. It's got personality but it does not present the unnecessary Sharp and/or Edgy notes I regularly encounter in not fully matured Islay Spirit. It's not too Sweet as well. It's straightforward Islay and I like it. I find Briny Peat, Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Iodine, Wet Sand, PVC Pipes, Wet Cardboard, Diesel, Toasted Malt, slightly Burnt Toast, Caramel, Honey, Leather, Lemon Zest, Straw, Fish and Shell Fish on the Grill, Toasted Walnuts, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Green Apple, Sour Berries, Oak and some Licorice. Surprisingly Well-Balanced for its age. Of course there's a bit of Alcohol but it's not at all aggressive. The ABV is spot on.

Visit May 2014

Palate: Balanced combination of Sweet, Bitter and Sour. A bit Thin perhaps. Its Youth is more noticeable now but it manages to hold its ground. I find Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Honey, Smoked Fish and Shell Fish, light Smoke, Wet Clay, Soot, Tar, Iodine, Leather, Green Apple, Citrus Peel, After Eight Chocolate, Toasted Nuts, Fresh and Dried Herbs, Tobacco, light Menthol, light Licorice, Pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon.           

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Spicy and Mineral. Quite Dry in the end. It feels a bit Thin despite the adequate ABV. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Honey Melon, Green Apple, Roasted Nuts, Wet Stone, Wet Clay, Smoke, Ashes, Tar, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Citrus Peel, Sour Berries, light Menthol, a few Herbs and Tobacco.  

Drinking Advice:
No need to add Water to this Lagavulin. You get extra Fruit (Green Apples) but you loose balance, 

Rating: 88

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21.5  - Overall: 22

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The distillery was founded in 1816 by John Johnston and is located on the South-Eastern coast on Islay, close to Port Ellen. It changed hands various times during its history but today it is firmly controlled by Diageo. Lagavulin currently produces around 2.5 million liters. Lagavulin is one of the key Malts in the White Horse Blend. 

The 8 Years I'm reviewing today was launched in 2016 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Lagavulin. It's a Tribute to Alfred Barnard, the author of "Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom". He visited the distillery in the 1880's and had an 8 Years old Lagavulin that he described as "Exceptionally Fine". As far as I know, Lagavulin released two batches of this 8 Year old. My sample does not give any information in this respect.

🍷  The Spirit:

Lagavulin operates two pairs of stills. Relatively short Copper contact and a slow distillation produce a full-bodied classical Islay Spirit. The water is sourced from Solum Lochs.

Visit May 2014

🌲  The Wood:

The 8 Years matured exclusively in Bourbon casks made of American Oak. Based on the colour I assume those were Refill casks.

Drinking Experience: Very Good


This Lagavulin 8 Years shows that with care you can produce a good young Malt. Without the fairy tales, the Gaelic names and with an Age-Statement. Kudos for Diageo in this case. Let's hope this is the way forward. It's still too expensive of course but we need to consider the fact that it's a very special Limited Edition. I was really surprised by the balance of this Lagavulin. You won't find that a lot at this age. A very tasty combination of Sweet, Bitter and Sour while maintaining all the Islay characteristics that we know and love. A real personality! My only criticism is the fact that the delivery, mouth-feel and finish are a little on the Thin side despite the perfect ABV. A few First Fill casks here and there could have done the trick.  Other than that I really liked this Lagavulin 8 years and I would love to see this become part of the core range. It would become an instant classic next to the completely different 16 years. Let's do it Diageo!

Jan van den Ende                                                              September 4, 2017

Visit May 2017

Glengoyne 21 Years Review

“Give More Power to this Glengoyne” 

Whisky Review # 639

Country: Scotland
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Glengoyne
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes   
Price Range: 120-140 US Dollars. (August 2017)
Buying Advice:πŸ˜”Good Malt but misses Power. The 15 has a better PQR.

Colour: Copper (Natural Colour)

Nose: The Sherry casks immediately activate the Jingle Bells. Christmas is all over the place. I do perceive a bit of Sulphur but it stays within limits. There is a lot to discover on this Nose so here we go. This is Dried Fruits and Nuts country and I detect Rum Soaked Raisins, Sultanas, Apricot, Banana, Dates, Figs, Plums, Slightly Sour Cherries, Red Berries, Almonds and Hazelnuts. All the ingredients for your perfect Christmas cake. Plus some spices of course. We have Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Cloves. In addition to all of this I find Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Toffee, Sweet Apple, Oak, Orange-Peel, Bitter Chocolate, Roasted Coffee, Dusty Road and Tobacco. A very Rich and Luxurious combination. Despite the 21 years of cask time, the Alcohol is not totally integrated.

Visit May 2017

Palate: The Palate basically follows the Nose and all the Dried Fruit and Nuts are still there. The difference is the density. On the Palate, this Glengoyne is a little on the Thin side and I can almost hear it scream for an ABV of 46-48%. A little Sulphur here as well but nothing really serious. I also find Toasted Barley, Treacle, Caramel, Vanilla, Sour Strawberries, Red Apple, Orange Peel, Mandarin, Honey, Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Dried Herbs, light Licorice, Menthol, Oak, Bitter Chocolate, Dusty Road and a little Alcohol.  

Finish: Middle-Long. Sweet and Spicy with a few Sour- and Bitter notes as well. Quite Dry in the end. You would wish for a longer Finish but the relatively low ABV won't allow that. I find Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Orange-Peel, Sour Berries, Red Apple, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Tobacco, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom, light Licorice, Menthol, Dried Banana and Salted Nuts.  

Drinking Advice:
I added the famous three drops of Water but the Glengoyne 21 Years does not improve. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 86  

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The Burnfoot distillery was founded in 1833 by the Edmonstone Family. Lang Brothers bought the distillery in 1876 and changed the name to Glenguin before it finally became Glengoyne in 1905. Since 2003, the distillery is owned by Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. It is located in Dumgoyne near Killearn, close to Glasgow. It sits right on the boundary between Highlands and Lowlands. The distillery itself is in the Highlands while the warehouses are just down the road in the Lowlands. The production stands currently at slightly under 1 million liters. The core range includes the 10, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 25 years. The location close to Glasgow makes it very accessible for day tours and around 60.000 people visit the distillery each year. We were there last May as well on a sunny Sunday afternoon and the place was packed with visitors. Four tours were being held at the same time. The distillery is certainly worth a visit and the shop and location are very nice as well. But it's better to avoid the weekend!

The latest version of the 21 Years that I'm reviewing today was launched in 2007. Packaging and Bottle are very sophisticated.

Visit May 2017
🍷  The Spirit 

Glengoyne operates one Wash Still and two Spirit Stills with Lyne Arms that point slightly downwards. They produce a medium-bodied Sweet, Floral, Malty Spirit. The Malt is part of Blends like Lang's Supreme, Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse. The Water is sourced from Loch Carron.

Visit May 2017
🌲  The Wood:

Glengoyne 21 Years matures in First-Fill European Oak Ex-Sherry casks. They gave good Colour and sufficient Aromas and Flavours to the Spirit. Unfortunately it is watered down too much

Drinking Experience: Good


If ever there was a Single Malt that deserved a higher ABV, it's the Glengoyne 21 Years. What a pity. The Nose is truly wonderful and you only have to close your eyes to imagine Nosing this Whisky close to the open fire after a very nice Christmas Dinner. But than you take a sip and you can't help but feeling ever so slightly disappointed. This is not a bad Single Malt mind you but it could have been so much better. And at this price level people would pay a little more for an ABV of 46-48%. I understand that Glengoyne released a new 25 years that was bottled at 48%. I can't wait to taste that one and I would highly suggest Glengoyne to reconsider the ABV of the 21 Years as well. 100% First Fill Sherry casks simply deserve to be enjoyed to the full without the Spirit being watered down too much. As it stands, the Glengoyne 21 Years is still a very nice Single Malt but it's also quite expensive. The 15 Years has a much better Price/Quality ratio (PQR) even considering the fact that this Glengoyne matures in a mix of Bourbon and Sherry casks.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   August 31, 2017

Visit May 2017