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Glen Scotia 16 Year Old

Subtle...very subtle

2 290

@Nemesis101Review by @Nemesis101

24th Jan 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Often in the shadow of its neighbour Springbank, Glen Scotia is the only other autonomous Campbeltown distillery. I tried one indie expression years ago which was largely forgettable. However, this is from their new revamped line-up. Natural Colour and non chill-filtered - just as it should be.

This definitely needs to breathe so I've left my sample to open up for approximately half an hour....

The nose is light, fairly grassy with strong lemon notes. There is a dryness and a slight salty-mineral edge. Quite a fresh bracing nose, but waves of sweetness, along with some apple and orange can be detected at times.

Palate - Dry at first with salt and minerals. Then sweetness comes through but this is cut down by the tang of lemon. There is a hint of grassiness still. But this is all very delicate and subtle. It's a slightly thicker mouthfeel than I was expecting too.

Gradually the palate fades to a medium-length finish of dry bitterness.

This ia a very interesting whisky that demands all your attention and time. It's definitely not one for beginners or for casual drinking. But although very subtle, it rewards patience by ultimately being a very complex and delicious malt. Only quibble being the finish does not match the standards of the rest of it.

Also, an honourary mention has to go to the bottle it is packaged in. Brilliant opaque emerald green colour, it's probably the most artistic and attractive whisky bottle I've ever seen. :)

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Ol_Jas commented

Nice, well written review.

About your last paragraph: Is this the bottle with the cow on it--the famous Disco Cow? I've never seen these in person but they always look pretty wild in photos I've seen.

This review reminds me to start a thread sometime: "What Is the Campbeltown style?" Even though regional determination of flavor is rubbish, it's still true that each region is known for a style that distilleries there either follow or stray from. I'm tempted to say that Campbeltown is "austere and salty," but there are so few whiskies to reference that each one carries disproportionate weight. And Springbank probably makes 90% of all Campbeltown whisky, so the question is in danger of becoming just "What's Springbank like?" Maybe I’m just cliff-noting Springbank 10 when I say “austere and salty.” But then this Glen Scotia seems to follow that salty leaning. Kilkerran does too. But then again, to call Springbank salty would ignore their large number of sherried bottlings.

Maybe Campbeltown has no more distinctive regional style than any other style. That makes me a little sad. In any case, I’ve got a lot of contradictions here. So yeah, maybe a discussion thread sometime.

Anyway, great review. It makes me more optimistic about a 22 YO CS Glen Scotia IB that I've had in the vault for a while.

8 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

Oops: I meant this: "Maybe Campbeltown has no more distinctive regional style than any other region."

8 years ago 0

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