Distillery: Glen Scotia
Age: 15 years old
Oh! Campbeltown Loch I wish ye were whisky, Campbeltown Loch och aye!
With these words Scottish singer Andy Stewart famously celebrated the rich history of Campbeltown distilling. Perhaps I’m being ungrateful at entire water bodies being turned into whisky, but Stewart forgot to mention that if at all possible, that whisky ought to be Glen Scotia. For although countless Campbeltown distilleries have come and gone, Glen Scotia has somehow withstood the test of time. In the face of incredibly long odds, this can only be seen as a testament to the sheer quality of Glen Scotia’s whisky.
But even in recent years, much has changed, with Glen Scotia launching a completely revamped range. Sadly you’ll now have to imagine the Highland cows yourself (although I’ve saved you the trouble), but packaging aside, the new whiskies are stunning! To me, the 15 year old is the quintessential Glen Scotia, embodying all the qualities that make this distillery so exciting. Spicy yet smooth, rich yet robust, Glen Scotia 15 year old has it all. Slàinte!
Colour: Burnished copper
Nose: Quite restrained, but pleasant all the same. The nose is rather nutty, along with a salty, maritime nature. Aromas of toffee and brown sugar give way to ripe orchard fruits and that typical Glen Scotia wood spice. Good stuff!
Palate: Lush and oily in texture, with flavours of grilled meat and charred wood. The spice from the nose is allowed to roam free, releasing notes of cinnamon and sandalwood. This whisky is so packed full of flavour it feels somehow solid, chewy almost. Liquorice and cocoa nibs provide this Glen Scotia with a dark, earthy profile that suits the distillery character wonderfully well. Extremely enjoyable!
Finish: Rich and hugely satisfying, with a lingering aftertaste of salty caramel, smoked meat and a hefty dose of spice.
Verdict: I really appreciate this whisky. Although it’s hard to argue that there is such a thing as a true Campbeltown “style”, Glen Scotia 15 year old is exactly what I have in mind when thinking of the region’s whiskies. Not overly smoky, but fierce, coastal and complex, Glen Scotia 15 year old is a dram with lots of depth that accentuates everything I like about the distillery. I would argue that the 15 year old is the centrepiece that really ties the Glen Scotia range together into a recognisable distillery character, and as such it’s a must-try whisky for anyone wanting to explore the beauty of Campbeltown whiskies.