The Glengoyne Distillery is located in Dumgoyne, just on the outskirts of Glasgow. It’s been distilling its world famous whisky since 1820. Although the first distilling done on this site may have been done illegally, but shhh, we won’t tell. We visited whilst we were in Glasgow staying with friends. They offer an hourly tour of the distillery, including a tasting (or tastings, depending on the tour package you purchase).
We started our tour in a room which was like a big drawing room. It had plush, comfy chairs and was lovely and warm, which was a stark contrast to the outside world, which was bitterly cold. It had also just started to rain, which I am told is a very common occurrence in Glasgow.
Whilst we were seated in these inviting chairs, we were handed a small measure of the Glengoyne Whisky. I’ve never been a whisky fan, so the initial sip packed a bit of a punch on the taste buds. But if you can get over the ‘I’m not very keen on whisky’ taste, you can taste the warmth and woody flavours of the oak barrels it is aged in.
Whilst we were supping our whisky, we were welcomed by our tour guide and asked to watch an introduction video. The video was really interesting, showing us the people who worked at the Glengoyne Distillery. Our tour guide did joke that some of the accents were a bit strong and some of the lingo unusual, so they’d had to subtitle it. It was quite easy to follow but it did make us all smile when we got to some of the stronger accents in the video.
After we had finished watching the video and our whiskies, we were invited to join the tour of the facility. I won’t go into a lot of detail about the tour as I wouldn’t want to ruin it if you were to visit, but what was abundantly clear is the way the whisky is made is all by hand, using the processes that have been used for decades. They don’t rely on machines or gadgets, they rely on people and hard work. It was fascinating to see all of this first hand.
On the last part of the tour, we were shown how the ageing process works and how the whisky colours based on how long it is in the barrels for. Also, how much liquid is lost during the ageing process. You have to be patient to work in a distillery.
The whisky the Glengoyne Distillery sell is aged for a minimum of 10 years, some a lot longer. They have a whisky for sale in their shop that costs over a thousand pounds for the bottle. I don’t think I’d appreciate that!
The tour was really interesting, our tour guide was obviously proud to work there and very knowledgeable about the process. The only thing I would change is that I would have liked to have had my whisky tasting at the end, so I could really appreciate the effort that had gone into making it and also work out the flavours from what I now know about the ageing process.
The tour was really good value at just £9 per person for a 45 minute tour including a tasting. You can do a tour with more tastings, these start at £12 for an hour long tour right up to £150 for a five hour tour. Although I should imagine you’d have a very warm glow after five hours of whisky tasting!
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