Glengoyne Distillery is beautifully situated at the base of Dumgoyne Hill just south of Killearn and only 30 minutes from Glasgow and 60 minutes from Edinburgh by car. Because of its accessibility Glengoyne is a well-visited distillery during the tourist season. Glengoyne is the southernmost Highland distillery and in fact lies right on the line separating the Highlands from the Lowlands. Glengoyne means ‘glen of the wild goose’.
The distillery began its existence as an illicit distillery and was the only distillery in the area to be licensed under the 1823 Act of Parliament, although Glenguin as it was called at the time did not receive its licence until 1833. The distillery was also named Burnfoot Distillery for a time but the Lang Brothers Ltd changed the name back to Glenguin when they bought the distillery in 1876. The ‘Glengoyne’ spelling was introduced in 1905. The distillery was renovated and expanded in 1965 when the Lang Brothers were taken over by Robertson & Baxter.
Glengoyne only use air-dried malt and is thus completely unpeated. This gives it a character more similar to a Lowland whisky than a traditional Highland whisky.
Production at Glengoyne
Glengoyne draw their water from a source at the Dumgoyne Hill. The water has filtered through the hill for up to 40 years and comes out clear and soft. Glengoyne have bought their barley malted since 1910 to preserve the space. They are using the Golden Promise barley (the same as e.g. Macallan). The malted barley is heated with hot air only which results in a totally unpeated malt.
The mash tun is made from stainless steel and holds 15 tons. The six washbacks are made from traditional Oregon pine and each hold 19 000 litres. Glengoyne use three stills, one larger onion shaped wash still which holds 15 000 litres and two smaller spirit stills of the boiling ball model with a capacity of 3 500 litres each. The two spirit stills were installed in 1990 to replace two unusual stills which had straight sides.
The whisky is filled into sherry and bourbon casks which are stored on site. Bottling is done in Glasgow. The annual output at Glengoyne is 1.5 million litres.
Glasgow, G63 9LB
Phone: +44 (0) 1360 550254
Distillery Manager: Stuart Hendry
Visitors: Open all year round. Opening hours Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12am-4pm. Guided tours start on the hour, admission is £4.50. The Glengoyne gift shop is called the ‘Glengoyne Slainte Mhath Shop’ and is located inside the oldest warehouse on site dating back to 1833. The shop has a fine selection of books, whisky, glassware foods and a rage of collectables. Apart from the official bottlings the shop also offers a selection of limited edition Single Casks and Special Vintages.
Owner: Ian Macleod Distillers Limited