I've wanted to get a Glen Scotia Double Cask review written since the expression's release, for a few reasons. The first being the distillery itself.
Glen Scotia distillery
There are said to have been about 32 distilleries there in 1759, making it a true Scotch capital. However, many things have changed in the past 200 years and Campbeltown distilleries have suffered a huge blow, with 30-odd distilleries closing down.
Glen Scotia, established in 1832 and simply named ”Scotia”, is one of the few surviving distilleries. It has changed ownership quite a lot in the past , and is currently owned by Loch Lomond Group. They use soft water from Crosshill Loch and a combination of unpeated and lightly peated barley. Maturation happens on site and Bourbon barrels are mostly used.
Glen Scotia Double Cask
The, fairly new, Glen Scotia Double Cask is a Bourbon and Sherry finish. The whisky is carefully blended and then finished in first fill Bourbon Barrels, right before its final finish in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, giving it a rich and spicy character. You would expect a combination of PX and Bourbon casks to have an effect on both the balance of the whisky and its flavor profile, since Bourbon contributes to a light and sweet flavor and PX usually makes a whisky quite syrupy and ”dark”.
I was quite curious and eager to try this one, since its part of the new and anticipated Glen Scotia line,and it is also finished in two different types of casks.
Let's pop the cork!
As soon as the spirit touches the glass, you can smell the sweet spices and vanilla. It is quite rich on the nose and not too aggressive. First sip and you get a soft punch in the face, with complex flavors numbing your palate. The finish is satisfying and lasts for a good amount of time.
I was right in assuming that the Bourbon and PX casks would make Glen Scotia DB a rich and complex whisky. No surprises here. Sweet, spicy, with vanilla and dried fruit, all of which are clear characteristics of Bourbon and PX matured whiskies.Bottled at 46% abv ,and with no chill filtration ,it is everything you would expect from a double finished whisky, with the rich spices and complex flavors all perfectly balanced. It is also aggressive enough to carry the label ”Campbeltown Whisky” ,but not so aggressive that will put the average drinker off.
In addition, it is quite different to every other Glen Scotia that I have tried in the past. They really hit the nail on the head with this one. It still has that signature sweetness, but it is way more balanced than anything I’ve tried before from Glen Scotia. Plus, even though I never pay much attention to packaging, I think most of us would find the new bottle much preferable to the old ones. No more electric colors or cows!
NOSE: Maritime & fruity, dried fruit ,mostly raisins, fresh apricots and a hint of sherry
PALATE: Spicy(!), oaky, toffee & vanilla ,oily ,salty & dry
FINISH: Long, with layers of spices, quite dry with more toffee
To conclude, I was quite skeptical about this one, since I was a fan of the last, cancelled Glen Scotia line. I must admit I found it quite enjoyable and I would definitely try it again.
Maybe this is just the beginning of a long awaited Campbeltown rebirth. Who knows?
Until next time,