As with virtually everything, Glen Scotia’s open day during the Campbeltown Malts Festival got cancelled. Maybe ‘virtually’ isn’t the right word, because the virtual version is the one thing that did take place.
To compensate the sadness that followed of thousands of whisky geeks not being able to geek out on equipment they’ve seen a hundred times before (me being cynical), Glen Scotia released a tasting pack based on their Dunnage Warehouse tasting.
It consisted of five different high ABV drams: The current batch of Victoriana, and four single casks that are otherwise not available.
While this pack costed € 50, and while this is not cheap, I gladly paid since single casks from Glen Scotia are always interesting, and often good. Let’s dive in!
Glen Scotia Victoriana, 2019 release, 54.2%
Citrus fruits, oranges and quite a lot of barley malt. Some black pepper and a bit of oak.
More citrus and oranges. Barley, oak, black pepper.
Slightly charry, more wood. Dry barley, black pepper, oranges and some fresh herbs. A bit of mint or menthol.
Actually quite lovely. I’ve had this before, a previous batch, and I wasn’t convinced back then, but I wouldn’t mind having a bottle of this and going through that. It’s quite wood driven and in this case it makes for a very interesting whisky, rather different than a random Glen Scotia.
PS: I assume that this is the same as the current batch of Victoriana available because of the ABV.
Glen Scotia 2005-2020, First Fill Bourbon Cask 810, 59.9%
Banana, vanilla, puff pastry, quite some oak. Quite vegetal, hay.
The palate stays quite sweet with banana and tropical fruit. Some hay and straw. Quite a lot of oak and alcohol. Black pepper and chili pepper. Rather dry.
Slightly charry, dry, oak. Far less sweet with more focus on the oak.
It’s a little bit cloying with the nots of banana and all the pastry notes. Not necessarily bad, but I miss the Glen Scotia touch here. It’s all a bit much.
Having said that, its quite tasty, and very drinkable for a 60% whisky. The cask is very noticeable, so an nice example of a modern, active bourbon cask.
Glen Scotia 2002-2020, Refill Sherry Hogshead 486, 48.7%
Heavy red fruits. Like it’s all stewed raspberries and strawberries. Slightly spicy with the typical wood and sherry spices and some dried fruits.
A tad thin on the palate. Dry with some chili pepper, oak and straw. Dried fruit, sherry.
The finish is slightly richer, with a hint of gum balls. Not very long.
Another weird one. Well, its not exactly weird except that it’s rather thin on the palate, and has that gum ball note on the finish. The thinness might be because of the lower ABV, but then it should have been earlier in the tasting.
The red fruits are nice, and don’t get too sweet with the spices that come along with it.
Glen Scotia 2009-2020, Bordeaux Red Wine Cask 2/359, 57.2%
Heavy and rich, ginger nuts, spongy gingerbread (taai-taai).
Bone dry, there’s no moisture left in your tongue. Oak, red fruits, blackberries, raspberries. Sawdust, barley.
The finish has a bit of a rancio overkill. Some of the ginger cookies again.
I have no idea what is happening here, but again, the cask has overtaken everything that the distillery normally does. It’s not exactly a bad whisky, but I’m not happy with it.
It’s way too dry and drying, the gingerbread is strangely prominent and towards the end the rancio notes go completely rampant.
Glen Scotia 2005-2020, Tawny Port Hogshead 6/413, 57.8%
Charcoal and glue and paint thinner. Massive on the charcoal, in a very good way.
For the ABV it’s very smooth. Dry, charcoal, roasted grains, dark bread. Quite some oak, a very rich fruitiness.
The finish is a combination of the nose and the palate. Compote of red fruit, treacly.
I know that you will now expect me to say this is a weird one again. And it is, but it’s also exceptionally good. I came in a little bit apprehensive since people had already told me it was good and I was a bit afraid that that was their ‘we are at a distillery drinking whisky’ enthusiasm talking.
However, my angst was unjustified, since this weird dram has so much awesomeness to offer. The charcoal like notes, combined with the rich fruits from the port cask make for a great drinking experience.
As said, it’s not cheap, but it was worth the money. The Victoriana and the Port cask were my favorites. The others are at the least very interesting takes on a distillery.
I think there are some packs available at Drinks & Gifts