There are plenty of sherry-matured whiskies available. Dark, cola-coloured single malts seducing unsuspecting consumers with nothing more than looks. Many of them have one thing in common: they’re young and yet have already received some cosmetic surgery (short finish in a super active cask). They serve a purpose I guess, because they sell like madness. But if you’re looking for something a little more genuine and you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, maybe have a look at the new Glengoyne 30 Years.
With a retail price north of 700 euros it’s certainly not for everybody. I don’t have the budget for it and am just lucky to be doing what I’m doing; giving me the opportunity to taste gems like the Glengoyne 30 Years. I could resort to buying the aforementioned young sherry bombs, but that’s exactly the point I’m trying to make. I won’t and maybe you shouldn’t either. It’s quite often lazy whisky and broaches the age old discussion: Are you someone who values looks or cares more about personality?
Instead of being seduced by and paying for the colour of a whisky, turn your attention to some honest bourbon matured whisky. First-fill or refill, I don’t care. Either serves a purpose. I mean, I love sherry matured whisky, but only when done right. And there’s not much of that type of whisky floating around these days. So I’d rather not spend my time chasing a high that’s unlikely to be reached — only on very limited occasions, which brings us back to the Glengoyne 30 Years.
Worldwide only 5,200 bottles are available the the 2020 Edition and unlike the aforementioned Frankensteined sherry monsters, the Glengoyne 30 Years has aged gracefully and patiently in a mixture of first-fill and refill European oak sherry casks. But because it was launched at the same time as the distillery’s headline grabbing new Glengoyne 50 Years you might’ve missed it. Together with the Glengoyne 25 this trio now forms the distillery’s new ‘Fine and Rare’ range.
Glengoyne 30 Years (46.8%, OB, 2020)
Nose: Oh god yes, mature sherried whiskies like these are a rarity nowadays. Very expressive and rich, yet complex and with plenty of subtleties. That tobacco and wood aroma you get from a cigar box as well as furniture polish, but also black cherries, jammy fruits, sweet oranges, dark Lindt chocolate and a touch of aceto balsamico. It also has a creamy, melted butter-like quality. Totally awesome. Taste: Thick and syrupy but not sticky, there’s plenty of dark, walnuts, roasted peanuts and warming spices like cinnamon on the palate, accompanied by sweet dates, raisins and orange marmalade, but also cassis and a pinch of cracked black pepper corns. Finish: More of the above. Lingering for a long time.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better sherry-matured whisky of this age. Yes, even if you turn to stalwarts such as GlenDronach or Macallan.