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Glen Scotia 16 Year Old

Average score from 3 reviews and 5 ratings 85

Glen Scotia 16 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Glen Scotia
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 16 year old

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Glen Scotia 16 Year Old

A distillery that needed some love and a good injection of cash, which it received a few years ago when they did away with the disco cows and put forth a basic but interesting range

Nose: Fresh, butterscotch, waxy fruits, slightly floral with a kind of greasy, inky feeling underneath. Fresh cut apples,ginseng, a touch of cardboard & glue

Palate: Sweet, juicy, then astringent, prickly juniper & herbs. Those lollipops made from powder candy, canola oil & a touch of sulfur like onions. The palate is sweeter & maltier than the nose suggests.

Finish: Honey, honey nut cheerios, freshly poured concrete, a touch of lemon peel & dried chamomile.

Nose: I feel like this had active casks applied to a rather malty & grimy whisky. This means nothing really affirms itself, there are flashes or odd but overall the sweet malty is a blanket over it. Not a bad one, wish I had more than a sample to go on.

My feeling is of a distillery in transition, some recent single cask or special editions have garnered some praise but I don't feel like drinking any of the available range gives you a clear idea of the character of the distillery. The new oak isn't as vulgar as some other distilleries but I feel it dampens things.


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. :)

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.

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


This cambeltown expression is aged 16 yrs in ex-bourbon casks. THe nose is lively with lemon zest, honey and oak. In the mouth it is slightly oily, lemons come through now stronger upfront fading to spicy dried apricot, oak & pepper. A medium finish that is lively with pepper and spice leaving a warmer honeyed glow on the tongue. It does well at 46%, it sits well but I would like to try a cask strength version as I imagine it would be very good indeed.

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