Tasting: Glengoyne 1996 18y Rum Cask Finish by Cadenhead’s

Dram data:Glengoyne Rum Cask 18 years by Cadenhead's
Distillery: Glengoyne
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: October 2014
Age: 18
Limitation: 210 bottles
Price at the time of purchasing: – (sample)
Casks: Rum Cask finish since 2007
Alcohol: 54,6%
Unchillfiltered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
pale straw.
The nose is very light and a wee bit perfumey on first contact. 18 years in wood, they say? Must have been some rather weak casks. Glengoyne spirit is light in character, but this is even lighter. Maybe some very light, young white rum influence, not sure I’d pick it up in a blind tasting. More of the flowery perfume note, cream pudding (with little vanilla), cake icing, hay, remnants of caramel bonbons. Some white pepper, mint and a hint of tropical fruits (think pineapple). The alcohol is noticeable but well integrated. No oak influence. The palate reveals more of the alcohol content, masking the delicate flavours, so let’s add a drop of water here.  Actually, let’s add some water and let it breathe for some time. A mixture of malt sweetness and bitter oak spices (in a positive way!) is dominant with hay, grass and peppery notes in the background. The perfumey note reappears. Almost gone are the tropical fruits, maybe some pinapple peel with remnants of pulp.  The finish is short to medium long (after more sips) with not really much going on. Remnants of malt and slight hints of oak lingering but not many flavour components. It improves and gets a bit longer if you allow the whisky to breath with some water added.

Cadenhead’s as an independent bottler also offers a great selection of rums so it shouldn’t come as a surprise they use their emptied rum casks to enhance slower maturing whiskies which could use a little jump-start. This has worked very well in the past, I’m thinking of their delicious Royal Lochnagar 17yo which I tried at the whisky festival in Linz 2014 and had to buy a bottle of. In the case of this Glengoyne the rum cask didn’t have much to offer in terms of enhancement in about seven years time and the first maturation (most likely in refill bourbon wood) didn’t do much to the spirit in terms of adding lots of flavours either. This leaves a perfumey, light, delicate result which gets sweeter if you add some water and set it aside for at least half an hour. A whisky for a hot summer’s eve, perhaps, but if you’re after loud, screaming flavours or associate Glengoyne with some of their heavily sherried official bottlings, this one probably won’t be for you. Let me know in the comments section below if you’ve tried it yourself.

Score: 79/100

The sample for this whisky was kindly provided by the Cadenhead’s store in Salzburg. Cheers!

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