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Glengoyne 18 Year Old

Beyond Good & Evil

8 789

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

12th Mar 2021


Glengoyne 18 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

Tasting notes

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.

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Victor commented

I love me some Canadian Goose, especially the giant stainless steel one at Wawa, Ontario.



I live under a flyway, and hear geese outside my windows frequently. They hang out here by the score, and sometimes I see more than 100 of them on the ground at a time in my neighbourhood. They sometimes block traffic crossing the road on foot in groups. Even though these are migratory birds supposedly returning to Canada to breed, some of our locals seem to hang out here in Maryland year round. This is obvious because we will see parent geese with young flightless goslings in the spring here sometimes.

So I guess that you liked the Glengoyne 18 yo.

3 years ago 4Who liked this?

casualtorture commented

Yeah Canadian geese are jerks. Every time I went to the park as a kid one of them would be seen chasing a frightened screaming child. Complete opposite of most Canadians I've met. When I worked at Aldi during university, there was a Canadian guy that always came in and I swear he was the most polite person I've ever met. I still remember him years later. If there wasn't a long line we'd chat at the checkout and he'd always say "see ya later brother" in the most Canadian accent. I'm sure my dialect would stand out way more than his did here if I was in Canada.

This whisky sounds like a winner though!

3 years ago 3Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor I truly enjoyed this malt. I do not enjoy Canada Geese. They are evil incarnate. It’s funny: this whisky doesn’t have a ton of “wow” factor but it just hits all the right notes and its balance is terrific. Also, I’m a fan of what I call “black tea” notes in whisky. I’ve also noticed the same note in some versions of Redbreast Lustau and in a few batches of Stagg Jr.

3 years ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

I don't mind Canada Geese. I've been to see the monument in Wawa as well.

But I just want to be clear that Canadians don't speak with an accent...(though we may have a dialect or 2)

3 years ago 4Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

@Nozinan Quite right. We do have dialects. We've got Dr. Bonnie Henry out here keeping us up to date on any covid-19 oatbreaks and reminding us only to gather oatdoors. Nothing to do with oatmeal as far as I know. I think she's from somewhere in Ontario or the Maritimes.

@OdysseusUnbound "like shit through a goose" is a very appropriate simile. The worst thing about the bad tempered bastards is the tubular turds they deposit everywhere.

I had the Glengoyne 18 a few years ago when it was on sale and being touted as an alternative to the way overpriced Macallan 18. I liked it, but kept thinking it would really kill at 46%.

3 years ago 4Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@BlueNote At 46%-48% abv, this whisky would be in the low to mid 90s for me. I love that even at 18 years old, the spirit character is present in the form of sweet biscuity nuttiness.

3 years ago 1Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@Victor as long as you are driving by it and not standing under it hitchhiking :)

3 years ago 4Who liked this?

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