Distillery: Glen Scotia
Age: No age statement
Glen Scotia Double Cask forms part of the distillery’s rebranded range of whiskies. Gone are the Highland cows of yore, replaced now by a set of stylish bottlings. Despite the modern new look, Glen Scotia continues to reference its turbulent past, claiming Double Cask is “a fine example of the original, historic Campbeltown whisky style”. This is reflected in the packaging too, which displays the Glen Scotia distillery at the height of Campbeltown’s glory. And while Campbeltown’s fabled past is indeed remarkable, Glen Scotia ought to be even more proud that they survived to the present day at all. Where so many other distilleries have fallen, Glen Scotia continues to stand proudly near the shores of the Campbeltown Loch. And though good fortune may have had something to do with it, one cannot deny that Glen Scotia produces a very fine drop of whisky. Fortunately, Double Cask is no different, exhibiting all the spicy, energetic characteristics that Glen Scotia is known for. On top of this, an extra maturation in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks provides this whisky with some extra depth and a more fruity, nutty profile. The result is a fine dram and an excellent example of why Campbeltown has firmly earned its place on the whisky map.
Nose: Quite lively, with that typically oaky Glen Scotia smell. The nose exudes a peppery heat, with plenty of nutmeg thrown into the mix. The spicy scents are complemented by the aroma of fresh wood shavings. These give way to fragrant vanilla and ripe plums. Underneath lurk the Pedro Ximénez influences, with raisins, milk chocolate and crème caramel struggling to break through. Quite compelling, although none too subtle.
Palate: Oily and oaky, like a freshly polished hardwood floor. A dash of sea spray bursts in, accompanied by a wisp of wood smoke. Double Cask is quite a powerful whisky, belying the fact it’s bottled at only 46% abv. But despite the intensity, there is also sophistication, with flavours of dried fruit and toasted almonds enriching the palate. A solid offering from Glen Scotia.
Finish: Quite punchy, with the sherry flavours finally breaking trough in a sweet, fruity triumph. The aftertaste showcases Glen Scotia’s coastal pedigree, with brine and barley entertaining the taste buds.
Verdict: Glen Scotia Double Cask is an interesting whisky that provides plenty of flavour and intensity. The extra maturation in Pedro Ximénez casks provides some much needed counterbalance to the spicy, oaky onslaught that is Glen Scotia. The result is a richly pleasant dram that takes some getting used to, but is well worth adding to your collection. Double Cask’s only fault is that it’s perhaps a little young, with some rough edges here and there. However, these are never too obtrusive, and are effectively hidden by the many other flavours on offer. I have to say I’m quite a fan of Glen Scotia’s new range, and Double Cask fits right in. Although I do think Victoriana is a better dram still, with the price difference in mind, Double Cask is definitely the more economical option.