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Glen Scotia Victoriana

Malt vs Oak: Who Will Win?

7 384

@RianCReview by @RianC

1st Aug 2023

2

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    84

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

There's quite a convoluted method to the cask make up of these but, to sum up - selected ex bourbon casks are filled into heavy charred American oak and 30% px for a year or so, with a final marrying period of a couple of months. Reviews are generally good and I'm sure it won an OSWA.

Bottle has been open a couple of months with just over half left. Review is a 30ml pour with a tsp of water then sat for twenty or so mins.

Nose - pickled ginger, green oak and a nip of barrel char greet you. Yellow fruits jam, dark berry jam - to a lesser extent, vanilla and toffee apples. An industrial note (oily rags, Serge?) or malty beer with a Castrol GTX floater (better) is at it's core. It smells rich but possibly a bit 'over-oaked' for my tastes.

Taste - more ginger and oily ale, drying and sappy oak, rose water, more of the jams. Oily mouthfeel and more barrel char.

Finish - med - long. Ash, bitter and charred oak, a little jam syrup sweetness and heavy tannins at the death.

Hmmm. If I don't think about this whisky as I consume it, I find it quite enjoyable but, given close inspection, I start to become a little more picky. It almost feels like a malt whisky is trying to be a bourbon - the oak notes really do start to take over and the charring of the casks seems to fight with the malty core. That said, drinking it whilst cooking, watching TV, chatting or whatever, it comes across as quite a rich, sweet and appealing dram that is certainly quaffable. I suspect a little more marrying time and less charring might have helped. Make of that what you will.

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3 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Nice review. @Cricklewood was able to get me a sample of it and I look forward to exploring it.

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@RianC There might be some batch variation at play here. I don't get that excessive oakiness in the bottle i have which iI have had for about 2 years. I found it had quite a bit of bite, but that was easily subdued with a small shot of water. This one gets better as time goes by. Good to get your perspective. I might not run out and get another one.

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Forgot to mention: I would score mine between 86 and 88 on any given day.

9 months ago 1Who liked this?