On the 14th September 2013 we se off for the Taste of Scotland Food and Drink Festival at Loch Lomond Shores near Balloch. On the way we dropped in at Glengoyne to sample some of their finest and have a wee tour of their facilities on what turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day full of September sunshine. From Edinburgh we took the M9, M876 and M80 before following the A803 through Kilsyth then the A893 up through Milton of Campsie and Lennoxtown and finally joining the A81 at Strathblane and on to Glengoyne.
Cask display on the approach to the visitor centre
At the distillery visitor reception we paid for our tours and had half an hour to kill before the tour started on the hour, so we wandered up the glade behind the distillery to view the waterfall and local flora and fauna before a nosey around the shop.
The visitor centre
A Dipper [Cinclus cinclus] searching for invertebrates at the edge of the cooling water pool, spotted from the balcony of the Glengoyne Distillery Visitor Centre
Cooling water on its way into the distillery
Following a short introductory video smoothly aided with a dram of the 12 year old we then toured the compact facilities via barley mill [Porteus of course], copper-topped mash tun, briefly diverted into the washback room and then back into the stillhouse via the 3 stills [1 wash still and 2 identical spirit stills] and spirit safe before exiting back out into the September sunshine. The distillate apparently is piped directly under the road to the warehouses opposite where the casks are filled [the warehouse not being part of our tour – a shame as this is Paula’s favourite place in every distillery we visit].
The still-house at Glengoyne
One of the interesting facts we learned was that the sherried Single Malt was placed in 500 litre casks whereas the distillate destined for blending went into 700 litre casks and was stored in a separate warehouse for its minimum 3 years before presumably being carted off to the blenders. Whilst the Distillery is classed in the Highland Malt Whisky region where the spirit is distilled, it is matured over the road in the Lowlands! At the Glengoyne Distillery their was also a display of the various barrels/containers used for the maturation of whisky [i.e. destined to become whisky casks].
Cask diplay, from left Barrel, Hogshead x 2, Puncheon x 2 and Sherry Butt
As we had opted for their wee tasting tour we ended the tour off in the shop with a dram of the 18 Years Old, which was a very fine example with a lot of sherry influence, as we were entertained by our tour guide Bill. As usual I came away with a little piece of branded glassware to mark my visit, as well as bottles of their Cask strength, Teapot Dram and a gift of the 15 Years Old. A very enjoyable and informative experience was had by all at this picturesque little distillery secreted away in a little glen in the Campsie Fells.