Glengoyne Whisky Dinner hosted by Grand Cru and Wines at Prime 101 Makati
On the evening of May 20, 2016, Johnssen Li from Grand Cru Wines and Spirits invited us for an opportunity to sample five of the ages of Glengoyne. Prior to this event, I’ve only had the chance to try the 10 and 12 so I was thrilled to be able to attend this vertical tasting.
To add to my delight, our venue was Prime 101, a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to visit but haven’t yet for some reason.
Prime 101 has become a favorite among steak lovers after its opening last October 2012 and it is located at the 2nd floor of the Ziebarct Building at Chino Roces Ave. Marco Legasto, the owner and the head chef at the same time, opened this restaurant together with his cousin Gardo Vazquez and interior designer Jenny de Dios.
Here we can see what’s in store for tonight’s dinner.
Along with the lineup of bottles to be opened (minus the cask strength edition)
For those who haven’t tried a bottle of Glengoyne, I’d like to give a brief background of the company so that you’ll have an appreciation for their brand and taste. What makes Glengoyne unique is that they are still a 100% Scottish Family Owned company that abides by 6 founding principles that were established since 1833. Unfortunately, not many distilleries can make the same claim as traditional practices tend to evolve along with technology and functional business decisions within the whisky industry.
Glengoyne’s process is carefully passed from one generation of craftsmen to the next in order to help them stay true to their past and true to their taste. From illicit to legal, Glengoyne has plenty of experience working with whisky and there’s no better person to share its history than Jonathan Scott, Glengoyne’s Asia Pacific Brand Ambassador.
Tonight he shared with us the 6 basic foundations that make them exceptional:
Unpeated – each barley grain is air dried and never heated in order to maintain it’s natural flavor.
Patience – they use the slowest pot stills in Scotland.
Oak Casks – as the demand for sherry casks increased, companies were forced to search for other alternatives. Not Glengoyne.
Maturation – stone walls and earth floors protect each sleeping Glengoyne cask meticulously.
Natural Color – never coloring added.
Tradition – Nearly 200 years ago in 1820, Glengoyne started out at the Burnfoot Farm. At this time, it was illegal for distilleries to operate but the secluded property offered the perfect place to operate a distillery. Glengoyne wasn’t the first distillery said to have operated in the area either. It is said that the founder George Connell, learned the art of whisky making from his grandfather on the same land.
1833 saw a big change for the distillery as Mr. Connell sought out and received his first distilling license. At the time, though, the distillery operated under the name, Glenguin of Burnfoot. While many distilleries have their own interesting stories, legend has it that a ghost of a former distillery manager who drowned in the loch still haunts the grounds of Glengoyne til this day.
Today the number one warehouse has replaced the old barely kiln and this new facility stores some of the best tastes of Glengoyne whisky. Not only is this warehouse used for storage but it is also used for tours. Guests get to see the extraordinary wooden casks that hold the Glengoyne whisky while it ages.
For tonight’s tasting, we were able to try the Glengoyne 10, 12, 15, 18, and 21.
Glengoyne 10 – The Glengoyne 10 is the youngest whisky that is sold by the Glengoyne distillery. Green apples, toffee, and nuts can all be found in the Glengoyne 10. Notably, the barley that is used for the 10 year old whisky as well as all Glengoyne products are dried by air and never is peated.
Glengoyne 12 – Again toffee makes an appearance in the Glengoyne 12, but it also includes hints of lemon zest and even a scent of coconut.
Glengoyne 15 – Glengoyne describes their 15 year old whisky as having a complex depth and bright tropical notes. Signature sherry wood casks help to give the Glengoyne 15 its unique tastes and scents. Candied lemon and even pineapple can be tasted in this tropical drink.
Glengoyne 18 – Vanilla fruit and ripple apples go to make a rich flavor for the Glengoyne 18 according to the company. Sensationally smooth on the palate and very balanced. I really enjoyed this bottle.
Glengoyne 21 – The Glengoyne 21 has a very intense color and you could tell that this would be one that you need to slowly savor and sip. Chef Marco strategically paired it with the dessert and rightfully so. Notes: Christmas cake, honey, fruit, and finishing off with a taste of cinnamon.
For you whisky drinkers who aren’t fans of peat, the Glengoyne is the perfect bottle for you. It’s very well balanced and not overpoweringly sweet. No other brand is as straightforward and represents traditional Scotch like Glengoyne does. If you want to properly introduce someone to scotch, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of 10 or 12.
Special thanks again to Johnssen Li and Alan Harrow from Grand Cru Wines and Spirits for inviting my wife and I to this engaging event. To Jonathan Scott for taking the time to inform me about the unparalleled process of Glengoyne and their endeavor for whisky perfection. Also to Chef Marco who provided us with the best mashed potatoes that I’ve ever tasted.