Glen Scotia, previously the ugly duckling of Campbeltown, seems to be coming into its own more and more. This tracks with Loch Lomond, who are owned by the same people. Both distilleries (much like Ledaig) produced feinty, weird and sometimes horrible whiskies that people found hard to get along with but are entering a new dawn with cool experimentation, special but affordable releases that seem to be, as yet, untouched by too much marketing bullshit and… um, Macallan-ing.
I’ve got more Glen Scotia coming up with my build up to 1000 reviews but we will leave them for now.
Glen Scotia 1992 Hart Brothers 50.5%
Nose: Funky orange and flat wood, sweet sherry and austere malt, dry oak and a touch of fireplace, geranium and musky cologne, chocolate powder, plum pudding, grapefruit. The nose feels a little oxidised, like the bottle has been open a little long.
Taste: Soft and sweet, orange, malt, chocolate powder, building slowly with more spice, oak and chewy orange and cherry, quite austere despite the sherry, grapefruit.
Finish: Long length. Sweet, syrupy and oily. More malt here with some dark chocolate. A little black cherry at the end.
23yo version from a Sherry hogshead. I was expecting more from this actually. Yeah, its good but I can't help but feel that a newly opened bottle would have tasted a little fresher and been more punchy. This was from the end of a bottle at a festival, so no way to know how long it had been open…
Glen Scotia 2003 93.91 SMWS 56.4%
Colour: Dark Gold
Nose: Austere and very Glen Scotia, oily with some fruits, butter, oxidised browning apple, some brown sugar, a Trinidad rum thing going on, a bit of banana thats been left out too long, mango and peach thats doing much of the same. Black pepper and salt, a little mineral. Super interesting nose.
Water: Cleaner and flatter, some oak and dry wood, loses its 'fattness.'
Taste: Oily and mouth-filling, serious mouthfeel, fruity with red apple and black pepper, some stem ginger, a little chilli, its spicy but not hot if that makes sense, some orange in there too, salt and more and more smoke as it goes on, ending up being quite smoky by the finish.
Water: A little flat to start, but a great balance of the salt, smoke and spice then builds up.
Finish: Long length. Powerful with smoky and spice, black pepper, salty still, some chilli. Again, not hot though.
'Campbeltown Karaoke' Bottled at 14yo. Really could be a Talisker. A really great single cask Talisker. Much better neat though. I tasted this first time at the Vaults in Leith, where the SMWS started and instantly knew it was special. Very luckily, they gave me the open bottle from the bar as a thank you for doing the tasting so I got to take it home. Great Glen Scotia, keep an eye out for these mid-aged peated ones.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #811-#812
Whisky Network Reviews #967-#968
Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.
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