Glen Scotia 2002 Single Cask #637 Master Distillers Edition & Glen Scotia 2004 Single Cask 19/57-73 (Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022)


Off to an often underrated distillery on the North side of Campbeltown to look at two late-teens releases from Glen Scotia.

Glen Scotia 2002 Single Cask #637 Master Distillers Edition

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 57.3%

Price: £120.00 (Auction)

A 17yo unpeated Glen Scotia that has been matured in a refill bourbon hogshead. Only 213 bottles were released exclusively for the distillery shop.

Nose

We’re met with citrus in the form of lemon juice and zest, warm buttered crumpets, toasted hazelnuts, charred oak and a mellow yet inviting vanilla sweetness. There’s a nice oiliness to the nose, along with salty sea air, crisp apple, cold dunnage warehouse aromas and wet rope. Overall it feels slightly restrained, but has that slightly older whisky feel to it that we really enjoy.

Palate

We’re met with cakey sweetness, vanilla sponge, clotted cream, a little fondant icing, a hint of raspberry jam too. There’s a saltiness that lingers through the palate, mixing with a light caramel note. There’s also a touch of flat irn-bru like copper and bubblegum. The alcohol has a touch too much peppery spice appearing, but the other flavours manage to reign it back in as the dram develops on the palate. The mouthfeel is nice, good texture and the finish stays with you for a while, but could be a touch longer.

Nose (with water)

Water accentuates the lemon and butter notes, and we’re finding some more musty warehouse aromas too. It feels a touch more alcohol forward now, like the raw spirit has overtaken some of the sweeter cask flavours. We’re unsure that adding water is the correct choice.

Palate (with water)

There’s a combination of slightly spicier spirit notes, and slightly sweeter vanilla-forward bourbon cask flavours, it’s an interesting mix. The mouthfeel has taken a hit, and the finish has a some melon-like bitterness that wasn’t there before. We’d avoid water.

Conclusion

Good quality spirit + good quality wood + enough time = a winner. They’ve not tried to do anything clever here, just gave the spirit the time it needs to mature and get the most out of the wood. The result is a well balanced, flavourful whisky that we really enjoy. Maybe a longer finish would be nice, but we’d happily grab a bottle.

Score: 8.5/10


Glen Scotia 2004 Single Cask 19/57-73 (Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022)

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 50.9%

Price: £180.00

An 18yo peated Glen Scotia that was matured in a refill bourbon hogshead before a finishing period in a refill oloroso hogshead. Only 221 bottles were released for the 2022 Campbeltown Malts Festival.

Nose

We’re met with some Campbeltown funk right off the bat. We’re also getting Vietnamese fish sauce, a hint of cheese, ashy peat and rich medjool dates. Giving it some air, we’re finding salt, treacle toffee and wet leaves. Some people will be put off by this nose, others will love it. We’re also finding petrol, pine wood and cold sea air.

Palate

The palate begins with red fruits from the oloroso cask, cherries, raspberries and raisins. It moves quickly into more of a dirty, meaty and earthy flavour profile with tar, dry soil and spare ribs. It’s got a really nice sweet note that underlies the whisky, bringing balance to what could be a monster of a dram. The mouthfeel is good, not great, but the whisky is pretty quaffable so you don’t notice too much. Time in the glass reveals toffee coated green apples, chimney soot, burnt toast and tobacco.

Nose (with water)

A lot of the funk disappears and we’re greeted with black forest gateau... lots of chocolate and cherries. There’s a touch of aged balsamic vinegar, marzipan and butter. The peat is also a bit less punchy now.

Palate (with water)

Again, a lot of the funk has disappeared and we’re left with the more traditional sherry notes. It’s also balanced the alcohol out, and there’s a hint of sour red fruits coming through now. The mouthfeel and finish remain unchanged.

Conclusion

Not a beginner whisky, but one that you can sit with for an evening and really get into . It’s complex, layered and pretty delicious. The sherry finish has given it an extra dimension that works well with the salty, peated Glen Scotia spirit. Water also opens it up.. really we have no complaints other than the price.. but we’d still buy a bottle.

Score: 8/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

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