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Issue 56 - Stepping in the right direction (Glengoyne)

Whisky Magazine Issue 56
June 2006


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Stepping in the right direction (Glengoyne)

Glengoyne,close to Glasgow and not quite Lowlands or Highlands,is a charming but under-rated distillery. Ian Buxton returned there 30 years after he first visited it

Imust confess an unnatural fondness for Glengoyne. It was, after all, the very first distillery I ever visited and, as that happened during my first and, so far, only honeymoon, it left quite an impression.

So going back after nearly 30 years, I was prepared to be disappointed. It surely wouldn't be as charming, or as memorable. I was expecting Glengoyne to have been spoilt by progress.

On the face of it nothing, however, seemed to have changed. But closer observation revealed that there had been changes – and generally for the better which is, to say the least, an unusual phenomenon.

Take the little glen in which the distillery sits. Memory recalls it was lush and verdant, which probably means it was rank and overgrown. The waterfall was best observed from a distance due to some thick undergrowth.

That's all been cleared away and a rather tasteful gravel path laid to the base of the waterfall. You can gaze into some pools of limpid water and then realise, as you look back to the distillery, that a second ‘river' of chipped slate which subtly echoes the path of the water course as it tumbles down the glen, has been cunningly incorporated into the gravel.

As you admire this artifice, drams appear and are served at a stone table, closely resembling an altar, that is at once elegant and practical. Such little touches seem to be quite commendable innovations.

There is also a great air of confidence and energy about the distillery. Folk seemed to move about with a spring...

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