Glen Scotia is a Campbeltown distillery that has always been overshadowed by Springbank - to the degree that this is the first time (as far as I can remember) I have ever tried something from them. Founded in 1832 by the Galbraith family, they have remained very small with only a single pair of stills. It is currently owned by the Loch Lomond Group. The current bottlings are part of a relatively recent rebranding and redesign. Their malts are non-chill-filtered.
The Double Cask is matured in bourbon barrels and then finished in Pedro Ximinez sherry casks, with a label that claims it is "rich and spicy." This bottle has been open for about 3-4 weeks.
The colour is a medium-to-dark gold. On the nose it is primarily rich Christmas cake, sour cherry and black liquorice. Has a vegetal, umami quality (which @paddockjudge referred to as turnip). Briny. Some vanilla and toffee in the background, from the bourbon barrels. Water has little effect on the nose. Quite unique.
On the palate the vegetal notes continue, with pronounced spice (cayenne, cumin), caramel and raisin. Sea spray and ginger. Very soft, smooth mouthfeel. A little spicier with water. Lives up to the description on the label. Quite tasty and, again, unique.
The finish is short and soft, with some lingering spice and gentle oak. This is a rich and enjoyable dram, and certainly gives Springbank and Kilkerran a run for their money. It has qualities that you find in those two malts (the richness paired with the briny sea salt) but still stands apart from them. I tasted the 15 Year Old at St. Andrew's Pub in NYC over the holidays, and while it was quite nice, I actually preferred this young NAS. 2016 World Whiskies Award winner for Best Campbeltown Scotch.