We're looking at two Glen Scotia bottlings today. We're always excited by Glen Scotia as they produce some excellent, often interesting spirit in our opinion.
Glen Scotia 2015 Ruby Port Single Cask 21/77-2
This release was distilled June 2015 and spent six years maturing in a first fill ruby port hogshead before being bottled for The W Club. Just 313 bottles were released.
We're getting a big whiff of strawberry and pastry, reminiscent of a strawberry tart. There's a little acidity behind this too, lemon, white wine spritzer. It's a well balanced nose, very impressive for its age. There's a little alcohol punch coming through, but it presents as a light oak spice. After some air we're finding creamy vanilla, a herbal/earthiness and a whiff of maritime, salty sea air. We're also finding more of those biscuit, oat type aromas coming through more prominently.
We're greeted with luscious salted caramel, fresh red grapes, basil and light milk chocolate. The port cask really adds a sweeter, fruitier influence with strawberry, cranberry and raspberry all in abundance. We're still finding the maritime influences here, but it's predominantly red fruit and zesty lemon coming through. The dram has quite a viscous mouthfeel, and the finish has a great length too.
Nose (with water)
The reduced nose brings out sour candies, creamy vanilla custard, lightly toasted oak, more strawberry and wet twigs. The aromas have mellowed somewhat, but it's still got a lot going on. There's still a touch of salinity in the background too.
Palate (with water)
Slightly richer flavours of dark chocolate, roasted almonds, overcooked pastry and a little saltwater too. It's earthier now, some may prefer this but we really enjoyed the undiluted palate, and would caution against adding water if you're in the same boat. Fortunately the mouthfeel and finish remain mostly the same in terms of texture and length.
For a 6 year old whisky, we're blown away. We enjoy the range of spirit types and flavours that Glen Scotia can produce. This dram lies firmly on the more delicate, fruity end of the spectrum, an easy sipper that has some additional complexity if you look for it. We'd happily pay more than £55 for this, so it's an easy 8.5/10.
Glen Scotia 12yo 2021 Seasonal Release
The 2021 seasonal release was matured in first fill Bourbon and American Oak hogsheads, then finished for 12 months in first fill Oloroso hogsheads and heavily charred American Oak barrels.
Preserved lemon, dried cranberries, walnuts, a little strawberry, orange and cinnamon. We're finding a lot of those good quality bourbon cask notes, honey, Caramac chocolate, oak spice, and a dustiness too, like a carpenter's workshop. Air reveals pine, wet leaves, and a lavender aroma. The alcohol is very well integrated with the nose, and we'd mistake this for something older than 12 years old based on the aromas.
The palate warms up with oak spice, cherry jam, burnt twigs, custard doughnuts and some stewed black and blueberries towards the latter part of the palate. It's quite a powerful hit of alcohol throughout the palate, but it brings with it casis, cinnamon, cloves and ginger powder. It has a nice mouthfeel and good length finish, but it ends quite bitter and woody for us. Air brings more herbal flavours, a little orange peel and a slight wisp of smoke.
Nose (with water)
We're reminded of flying saucers, an old candy made of edible paper and sherbet. It's lighter, a little more perfumed and floral. There's still some red fruit, along with a cooling mint aroma/sensation.
Palate (with water)
It's a combination of slightly more muted flavours from the undiluted palate alongside a touch more sugar. The spice has subsided slightly, but there's still a cracked black pepper flavour coming through. We're also experiencing a little more woodiness on the finish. Even with the slightly unbalanced palate, we still prefer it without water.
For us we prefer the nose to the palate. The nose has great balance, aroma and alcohol integration, but the palate brings a little too much oak and alcohol to the fold. Good quality whisky and we enjoyed the dram, but we're not quite sure we need a bottle.
- 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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