Distillery: Glen Scotia
Age: 25 years old
Glen Scotia’s website proudly states that patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s an ingredient. Of course, no Glen Scotia whisky embodies this sentiment better than the distillery’s flagship 25 year old. Having rested in American oak for two and a half decades, the whisky is then married in first-fill bourbon casks, and bottled at an admirable 48.8%. With so much time spent in Quercus Alba, it’s unsurprising that this dram displays flavours of vanilla, toffee and touch of spice. The result is something that feels quite different, both compared to Glen Scotia’s range and other 25 year olds.
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Dry and delicate, as the initial rush of vanilla gives way to a more citric profile. Zesty aromas of lemon peel give way to Seville oranges and dried apricots. This is replaced by a herbal, almost grassy perfume, with scents of sawdust and mown hay. There’s still some brine and sea spray, but this Glen Scotia has lost much of its coastal punch. For a 25 year old whisky, the nose is quite light, and has me intrigued for what’s coming next.
Palate: Oily as ever, with lots of intense wood spice. Flavours of peppercorn and cloves give way to heaps of barley with a tinge of salt. Then a sweeter profile takes hold, as notes of toasted vanilla and caramelised sugar liven up the palate. On the whole, this is actually better than I would’ve imagined from the nose, quality stuff!
Finish: Long and dry, with a charred, peppery aftertaste.
Verdict: Although the 25 year old is billed as coastal and briny by Glen Scotia, this is not immediately apparent on the nose. Only later on does Glen Scotia’s Campbeltown pedigree shine through. 25 long years of maturation have tempered the youthful exuberance and sparkle of the younger Glen Scotias, although this dram remains remarkably lively given its age. Beyond a doubt, the 25 year old is a great whisky, but I miss those qualities that I love most in a Glen Scotia. With the price point in mind, I’d probably sooner buy the excellent Glen Scotia Victoriana or the 15 year old. Be it virtue or ingredient, perhaps I do like my whiskies impatient… 😉