Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review - Glen Scotia 25 years old

This whisky is the new super premium bottling from the Campbeltown-based distillery of Glen Scotia. The Glen Scotia 25 years old is the oldest expression in the current single malt range from the distillery and was launched at the recent Campbeltown Festival. The core range also includes the Double Cask, 15 years old and Victoriana expressions. The whisky has been matured in American oak casks that were then hand selected by Michael Henry, the Master Blender of Glen Scotia, and then transferred to first fill ex-bourbon casks.  It has been bottled at 48.8% ABV and is available through selected specialist whisky retailers worldwide. A bottle should cost £250.

Glen Scotia (pronounced glen sco-sha) was founded in 1832 by the Galbraith and Stewart families. It is one of only three distilleries remaining in Campbeltown - the others are Glengyle and Springbank. Campbeltown was a former powerhouse of the Scotch whisky industry, particularly in late Victorian times when over 30 distilleries operated in the town, but then fell on hard times. Glen Scotia is the only single malt distillery in Scotland to have steel alloy stills rather than copper and is currently owned by The Loch Lomond Distillery Co. The distillery is relatively small and has an annual production capacity of 800,000 litres.

Our tasting notes
The colour is deep golden yellow and the nose is a wonderful mix of earthy, spicy and sweet aromas. There is a hint of soft peat smoke along with a pinch of cinnamon and ground ginger. These are complimented with aromas of honey and a hint of dried tropical fruit.

On the palate this whisky has an initial light and delicate feel with a lovely sweetness. This shows itself in the form of honey, vanilla and golden syrup notes. With time the baking spices and soft smoke from the nose slowly build to give a lovely warmth, depth and complexity. The smoke has an earthy, almost dusty feel. Delicate notes of dried tropical and exotic fruits are also present - thonk of pineapple, mangi, peach and lychee. A late hit of toasted nuts, marzipan and a hint of white pepper rounds things off nicely.

The finish is long and becomes increasingly drier, especially as the sweetness and tropical elements fade. The ginger and cinnamon combine with the delicate smoke to create this feeling, along with a faint hint of tobacco leaf.

What's the verdict?
The 25 years old expression is a delicious whisky that combines a range of different flavours and aromas. Glen Scotia has long been a forgotten and under rated distillery and their single malts have improved significantly over the last few years. The core range is now very good and this new expression sits right at the top of it. It is an absolute cracker that is easy drinking and expressive.

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