The Glengoyne Distillery and a Fine Scotch Whisky

Glengoyne whisky is distilled in the Highlands and matured in the Lowlands! Glengoyne is just fifteen miles away from Glasgow and is situated on the Highland Line, the symbolic border separating the Highlands and the Lowlands. The Glengoyne Distillery has been built in a wooded valley beneath the rolling Campsie Hills at the gateway to the Highlands. It is one of the most picturesque distilleries you could find. Well maintained buildings, lovely landscaped surroundings and its water flowing down a waterfall just behind the structures - all contribute to its picture postcard appeal.

A small river that runs down the mighty Dumgoyne Hill and flows into the famous Loch Lomond falls behind the main buildings in a fifty foot waterfall. A natural sandstone hollow forms a tranquil lochan for its waters before it flows past on its way down through the Blane Valley, eventually arriving at Loch Lomond. This clear pure water imparts a delicate taste to the malt whisky produced at Glengoyne. The distillery is surrounded by barley fields and thus all the ingredients for producing whisky at this distillery are at hand. Unlike most Highland whiskies, Glengoyne does not use peat to malt its barley and hence its whisky has a very delicate mild flavor.

The distillery takes its name from “Glen Guin” or Glen of the Wild Geese. It was originally named Burnfoot Distillery (or “Burnfood of Dumgoyne”) and then known as Glen Guin Distillery. It was built by George Connell who also leased the surrounding lands. It was licensed in 1833, one of the few to be licensed in the Southern Highlands. The warehouse built by him is still in use today. It was bought by the Lang Brothers from Glasgow in 1876 and the name changed to Glengoyne Distillery in 1905.

The distillery was taken over by the Edrington Group in the 1960s. Glengoyne was one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries but it was substantially rebuilt in 1966. However it still retains its 19th Century charm. It was acquired by the Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd in 2003 but the delicate flavored malt whisky has remained unchanged. Nine people still make the whisky with the same dedication of a hundred years ago. The lightness of the whisky is complemented by the milder climate of the southern Highlands under the protection of the lee of Dumgoyne Hill.

The Glengoyne range includes a number of single malts ranging from ten year old to the rare 37 year old bottling. The essence of its flavor has been preserved for decades by using air-dried barley rather than barley dried using peat smoke. The pure soft local water also contributes to the flavor. The result is a more subtle, complex whisky. The older whiskies like the 17 year old are bottled unchill-filtered at cask strength to preserve the original time honored flavor.

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