Out and about - The Glengoyne Distillery

LAST weekend, my wife and I took advantage of the unusually sunny weather and hopped in the car for a drive into the country. The destination was the Glengoyne distillery, which is situated at the bottom of Dumgoyne Hill, nested neatly in beautiful Scottish countryside between the villages of Strathblane and Killearn.
    It's a stunning setting and, as you might expect, the distillery itself is rather eye-catching with its bright, whitewashed exterior and attractive pagoda roof. A walk round to the back of the cluster of idyllic buildings - complete with neat and colourful flower baskets - revealed a well maintained pathway, lined with old whisky barrels and a crystal clear waterfall which cascaded from the hills - the original water source at the distillery.
    We paid £20 each for the tasting tour, which included a friendly and informative walk through the distillery, and a dram of the Glengoyne 12, 15, 18 and Teapot Dram.
    The light and fruity 12 kickstarted the lunchtime tour along with a brief introductory video about the distillery. A wander through the complex followed, before we got to sample the excellent 15 and 18-year-old drams. In our 18-strong group, only two of us preferred the 15, which was beautifully balanced and laced with delicious slivers of vanilla, but the 18 was hardly a slouch, with its rich dried fruit and smooth honey flavours.
    The tour finished in the distillery shop and a taste of the Teapot Dram, which you could either have in a glass or china teacup. I went for the glass and took a sip. Bottled at 58.5%, it was hot and fiery and took the breath away, but there was no mistaking the quality. A touch of water opened it perfectly and it was delicious - big, bold and packed with dark dried fruit and spices, with a long, lingering finish.
    You can only get the Teapot Dram at the distillery - or if you're on the Glengoyne mailing list - so I had to buy a bottle, so expect a full tasting at some point in the near future.
    I left Glengoyne with my new bottle, a delicious box of whisky fudge, and a huge smile on my face. It was a fabulous but expensive afternoon, but let's face it, it's good to treat yourself every now and then.


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