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I'm Canadian. That means I have a complicated relationship with geese. As the Canadian legend goes, all the anger and hatred was sucked out of the Canadian populace and channelled into its geese in a secret ritual known only to Rick Mercer, Avril Lavigne, Sandra Oh, and Ed the Sock. The ritual worked, but it worked too well. Our geese are the most spiteful and evil creatures on planet Earth, whereas a Canadian citizen is likely to say "Sorry, eh!?" even if YOU bump into them.
Australian wildlife recoils in horror at the thought of fighting a Canada Goose. Rumour has it that even Chuck Norris won't approach a Canada Goose for fear of losing his tough-guy reputation. So you can understand my reticence at purchasing and drinking whisky named after "the valley of the Wild Geese". That said, the name refers to Scottish geese, and I can only assume that they're not as evil as Canadian geese, since that would tear a hole in the space-time continuum. Perhaps Scottish geese are more dour and taciturn.
I really enjoyed the balance of Glengoyne's 10 Year Old offering, so let's see what the 18 Year Old has in store. Hopefully, it's not violent hatred.
Neat from a Glencairn glass
- Nose: dark fruits (dates, raisins), oak, honey, red fruits, a bit of vanilla, the aroma is more gentle than one might expect.
- Palate: medium bodied, brown sugar, almonds, red apples, walnuts, a touch of cloves, some milk chocolate
- Finish: medium length, brown sugar, oranges, walnuts, black tea, barley and oak lingering
- Thoughts: Glengoyne continues to impress me. According to Glengoyne's website, the "cask recipe" is : 35% 1st Fill European Oak Sherry, 15% 1st Fill American Oak Sherry, 50% Hand-selected quality Oak Refill casks
Now you might worry that the sherry notes would be too prominent and overtake the malt. Fear not, dear friend. Once again, the sherry notes are integrated yet balanced with the malt character. The sherry notes are present but don't dominate. There's a higher proportion of first-fill casks than the 10 year old, but they don't feel excessive. I know some would love to drink naught but malts matured exclusively in the aforementioned first-fill casks but I'm not one of them. Glengoyne 18 is a wonderfully balanced whisky that is exactly the opposite of a Canada Goose. It's quiet, calming, easy-going, and thoroughly enjoyable.