Glen Scotia: Double Cask (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 46% ABV)
Visual: Slightly rose wine to gold.
Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.
Nose: Big plums and raisins. Pencil shavings and ginger cake. Light smoke. Rum. Brandy cream. Beef. More toffee like if you add water, along with a grassy character.
Body: Smooth. Slight tingle of alcohol. Caramel. Sherry trifle. Slightly grassy and slightly peaty. Raspberry yogurt light edge notes. More grassy with water and gains charred oak. Also adds plums.
Finish: Grassy. Slight charred oak and dry beef slices. Strawberry. Water makes slightly oily and nutty. Slight chocolate. Blueberry.
Conclusion: Welcome back Glen Scotia, so, you have a double barrelled name this time? Very posh. let’s see if this is the one to get some Scotia love going from me.
First impressions are positive! Wooo!. Big plum and raisins right out the door, floating in the big and evident aroma. Definitely not what I expected from past experience with the distillery. The spirit is slightly smokey, not heavily so, about the same level as I would expect from Springbank, also slightly grassy in a similar vein.
In fact, a lot of this reminds me of Springbank – the grassiness, the moderate smoke and peat, the ..ok, just those two after all, but they make a big impression. The big plum and dark fruits do show up again in the body, especially with water, but far less evident than they were in the nose – a pity as I really wanted to see these big, contrasting, flavours fight it out. Instead we get a grassy, smoky whisky with hints of dark fruit.
The finish is much more what I hoped for, balancing nigh perfectly as more fruit notes come out. Another case of a whisky where top and tail does the job but the middle doesn’t manage to quite hold it together.
Despite that this is solid enough, there is the oily nuttiness to the finish that gives it a character that distinguishes it from the Springbank comparisons, calling more to the Glen Scotia identity, adding to that the dark fruit, which while not perfect, does add something, and you have a Glen Scotia I can get along with. In my mind Springbanks till rules the Campbeltown roost, but this does a lot to make me think there is room to be explored with Glen Scotia. Not great, but good and so I can live with that.
Background: Ok, copy paste the copy paste. ” Ok, bias warning first: This is a part of the Masters Of Malt Whisky Calendar given to The Bath Whisky and Rum Club, part of Independent Spirit, who invited me to assist with the notes in return for uploading them to alcohol and aphorisms. Sounded a very fair deal to me. Also, due to this we each only had half of the 3cl bottle so thoughts are based on a smaller exploration than usual. On the other hand I could not say no to the chance to try so many new whiskies. Many thanks!” I am a big fan of Campbeltown, or more correctly, Springbank. There are not many Campbeltown distilleries any more. Glen Scotia has not impressed me as much so far. This was drunk while listening to Dirty Knobs: Hallow again. Warning, do not fall asleep while listening to that, you get very odd dreams. I speak from experience.