We had just finished our Warehouse Number 1 tour and tasting when we were whisked into the blending room and invited to create our own Glengoyne distillery expression from the five single cask samples in front of us. Incredible.
The room itself is bordering on magical, and made me long for when I redesign my office; perfectly racked copita glasses on one part of the wall, hundreds of sample bottles in oak cabinets, a sampling station and in the middle, the feature.
The feature in this case being a long table with apothecary-style jars containing single cask samples from the the Glengoyne distillery of varying hues, all gorgeous, all tempting, all about to be sampled ahead of blending to create our respective masterpieces.
Naturally I say masterpieces in the loosest terms as, whilst I’m confident I created a great whisky, let’s face it I had great ingredients, not necessarily the skill to do so.
As Kirsty was driving we opted to blend two ways, so to speak; I created mine through taste and nose, Kirsty through nose alone as many blenders do in the early stages.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, not just in getting to sample some really special whiskies but to create a test 50ml of what I thought would balance, sample it then create the final 200ml version for bottling, tweaking right up to the second I bottled the creation.
Not sure we will ever agree on who created the better whisky but both were very different and that’s the joy of such an experience and whisky itself – it’s all down to personal taste. Kirst’s more heavily influenced by the heavier sherry-matured whiskies and based around three of the samples, where mine had about 20% bourbon matured whisky in there and used four of the five whisky samples.
Being a driver on a trip distillery is not something I’d ever thought I would be doing but being the dedicated wife I am, I agreed to chauffeur Greg around some of the distilleries that aren’t on the usual tour and transport routes for his birthday. Yes you all know how good his life is!
Anyway I wasn’t looking forward to the experience of not tasting all the incredible expressions, especially the distillery exclusives, but the experience at Glengoyne being ultimately about producing the perfect blend to taste was a great experience.
I’ve always had a strong sense of smell and as much as I enjoy whisky I also love the smell and the memories that pop up from the different aromas is really special for me.
To rely just on my nose to work out which expressions to use was really interesting and monitoring how it changed by adding in different elements was a true education.
To me this was far more than a tasting and I would really recommend for drivers to partake, you then get to enjoy all your crafted handywork in your own comfort with the car parked up for the evening.
Check out the photos below to see how we got on.
Thanks again to our master, adviser and certifier Ally and to the Glengoyne Distillery for hosting the two of us, we were on the MALT MASTER TOUR that lasts 1.75 hours and costs £60.00 with prior booking required, more information can be found here.