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Glen Scotia Wilson & Morgan 1991 20 Year Old

The "Other" Campbeltown

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

18th Aug 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I bet you forgot that there's another distillery in Campbeltown besides Springbank! That would be Glen Scotia, founded in the 1830s by the Galbraith family, who owned the distillery for the rest of the 1800s. It is now owned by Loch Lomond distillery. It is easy to ignore Glen Scotia, given the stature of neighbouring Springbank and the sporadic (and mostly independent) bottlings that are seldom released.

This bottling is from Wilson & Morgan, an Italian company who originally started as an importer of spirits, then becoming an independent bottler, and have remained in control of the Rossi family. This bottle comes from their "Twenties & Older" category in their Barrel Selection range. It was distilled in 1991, matured in a sherry butt (#1) for 20 years, and bottled in 2012. Interestingly, it is cask strength; at only 44.2% ABV, that is some serious maturation.

The colour is a deep, dark amber. On the nose, big sherry (I suspect oloroso but I could be wrong, I'm no expert on sherry nuances). Toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate and black liquorice. Very fruity - not just dark fruits but also tropical fruits such as papaya. A wee bit of brine weaving its way in and out. Water doesn't seem to do much for the nose.

On the palate the malt is definitely more tannic, and the spices kick it up a notch. Oily mouthfeel. Marzipan, more black liquorice, very nutty. A bit too much wood, which is nicely tamed with a little bit of water.

The finish is very oaky - the wood influence is massive, a little overpowering here. To be 44.2% ABV at cask strength, this must have been a pretty powerful cask (and a warm temperature in the warehouse! I wonder if it was matured in Italy...) Very complex and nicely balanced, but shows a too much sherried oak in the spirit, it overwhelms the malt. But it is certainly very interesting.

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