Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Glen by any other name

I'll have a scoth on the rocks, please.
Any scotch will do, as long as it's not a blend, of course.
Uh, single malt.  Glen livet, Glenfiddich perhaps.
Maybe a Glengow...Any Glen.
- Swingers

If you think every Scotch begins with the word "Glen", you're not that far off.  From famous brands like Glenlivet and Glenfiddich to lesser known distilleries Glen Scotia and Glen Garioch, thete are at least 30 active distilleries with "Glen" in the name.  Why is that?  Are there no marketing departments in Scotland?

Well the reason probably won't surprise you too much.  Most distilleries came into existence long before advertisers would have tried to give them the name of some obscure eighth century land baron.

The definition of glen is a narrow valley.  It can also be a general term to refer to an areas of countryside.  So, since scotch is often classified by and is often so diverse by the region in which it is produced, it's not surprising that the distilleries are named after the rivers they sit beside.

This brings me to my latest review.  Glengoyne boasts over 30 different expressions. For my first foray into this brand, I went with the 10 year old.  It's not a very surprising whisky, pretty standard for a highland.  The nose was slightly fruity, but definitely malty.  The taste was more of the same - mild honey, fruits, and malt.  This whisky is very mild on the tongue and the finish lacks a kick as well.  This whisky may be a good introductory whisky, and the full line from Glengoyne could warrant a closer look, but I think I've made up my mind about the 10 year old.

It reminded me of a homemade cupcake - without that kick of bakery-grade sugar in the frosting, what's the use?

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