It took me a while to try last years 4th advent whisky. The miniature looked so nice in its little wooden box on the shelf that I didn’t want to ‘ruin the picture’. And yes I was a bit afraid that I’d like the malt so much that I’d have to buy the big bottle because the Glengoyne 21y single cask is a bit expensive, well at least for my single malt standards.
But at last I had to give in because it is by far not expensive and exclusive enough to be a collectible keeper. So now to the point what the nice little miniature had to offer apart from the great looks. By the way the drink itself shines in a gallant dark golden-brown which I tend to find quite appealing.
Kind of typical for an older whisky it smells a bit like glue at first. I find this always interesting but also a bit strange, but well it seems that this is a ‘must criteria’. Apart from that the Glengoyne is very mild and offers an odor reminding me of dark wild berries and of course it tells you from the sherry casks that it was matured in. A really nice combination, not excessively complex but very appealing to the nose because it doesn’t hit you with sharp alcohol.
This is also what you’ll find on your tongue. It is surprisingly gentle and also a bit simple at first, not something I’d expect from a 21y old. Nice and warm with mild sherry and dark berry flavors but nothing really stands out, which isn’t always negative. Some other products come with a punsh of one specfic flavor so that it is very hard to taste anything else at first. In this case the Glengonye 21y can be described as well rounded. The true strength lies in the finish which, I have to say, is really intense, long and great. It’s like the Glengoyne wants to say “You didn’t really expect me to be that simple do you? Well let me stay and prove to you that I can do better.”.
And than it begins to tell you a story of all the oak and sherry casks it has seen and surrounds your tongue and mouth with much warmth and even a bit oily severity. I really did like this long and strong and interesting finish. The dram could last quite a while and you really get something to immerse into here.
So it took me a while to get to know the Glengoyne 21y single cask better and I’m glad that I gave it some time and waited for the right evening. Because it really is a special candidate. If you are willing to spend nearly a 100€ on a bottle, you like to be surprised and a strong sherry wood finish is your thing you should consider getting a bottle. I’ll enjoy a second glass sometimes but I have to admit that for the moment I’ll spend some € on the Lagavulin 1998 DE because it is my favourite and the Glengoyne 21y couldn’t change that.
Last but not least a little ranking for last years advent malts.
The first three are pretty close with the Ledaig 10y offering very much and is some kind of the best combination of the 2nd and 3rd place. The Tomintoul was great but the finish was a bit short and in contrast to that the Glengoyne had the best finish of them all but could have been a bit more complex. The BenRiach Septendecim was okay but didn’t really stand a chance against the others for my taste.