GLENGOYNE & AUCHENTOSHAN DISTILLERIES
After breakfast, we said goodbye to our hosts at Glenlaird in Drymen and drove up the road to the bottom corner of Loch Lomond. We didn’t really have time to explore any further so we turned back around and drove to Glengoyne distillery for an 11am tour. The distillery is split across a main road but the grounds and buildings are quite nice. It’s one of the more attractive distilleries but some of the features like the pagoda roof are just for show nowadays with malted barley being shipped in, rather than being malted and kiln-dried on site.
I was a little disappointed with the Glengoyne tour, since it didn’t have much to distinguish it from other distillery tours. The tour began with a video, like a lot of tours do, but I think these should be reserved for the distillery website. I understand why distilleries have these videos, but i don’t like them. You were also not allowed to take photos within the distillery itself, which is a shame and I do not understand why. There is a cool room at the end with a wall of whisky bottles showing different colouration for different casks and maturation time, but it didn’t make up for a lacklustre tour. You taste 12 year old single malt with the standard tour or you could pay more and taste more whiskies from the Glengoyne range. The tours are the same, so this just ends up being expensive drams on top of what you have already paid for.
Next up was Auchentoshan, which is just off the A82 and the turnoff comes up quickly so be ready for it or you may miss it the first time like we did and have to backtrack a little. I enjoyed the Auchentoshan tour more than the Glengoyne one (but only just) I am beginning to sense a pattern with these tours. Some distilleries go out of their way to show you something different and unique, but others use their tours as more of an extended marketing preamble before depositing you at the distillery store. I will be sure to point out the tours that do go the extra mile.
We made it back to Campbeltown, this time taking the far less fun western road and tomorrow is the first day of Springbank Whisky School. I can’t wait!