Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival Edition 2023 & Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival Edition 2021


With the Campeltown Malts festival fast approaching, we're taking a look at the 2023 festival bottling from Glen Scotia, alongside a festival release from a few years ago for comparison.

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival Edition 2023

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 54.7%

Price: £65.00

The 2023 Campbeltown Malts release is a lightly peated 11-year-old whisky that was finished for 12 months in White Port casks. A total of 24,000 bottles were released.

Nose

We'd probably have guessed bourbon casks if we were nosing this blind, but the port finish adds a few interesting notes. Initially, we're getting blackcurrant sorbet, chocolate muffins, butter, peaches, and cream. The usual Campbeltown funk shows in the form of oil, rubber bands, and rock salt. While the smoke manifests itself as freshly charred wood.

Palate

There's less of the white port finish on the palate than on the nose. We're initially hit by sugar cube sweetness, honey, peaches, and burnt wood. It has a good oily mouthfeel, and the finish has a decent length. Green chili spice lingers on the finish along with a little sweetness. It's a nice mix of peat and sweetness, but perhaps just a touch one-dimensional.

Nose (with water)

Reduction brings out blackcurrant Chewits and accentuates the Campbeltown funk. We're noticing more spice starting to come through on the nose as well. It's also less smoky, with hints of synthetically sweetened cream and puff pastry joining the undiluted notes.

Palate (with water)

It has become a little too sweet for us now, and the mouthfeel has slightly diminished with the addition of water. The smoke now manifests as ash. After the initial punch of sweetness, the dram transitions into a nice balance of spice, peat, and sweetness, lingering on a decent-length finish.

Conclusion

Some may enjoy this with a splash of water, but for us, we think this is at its best neat. As for a score, we're giving it a 7.5. It's not a bad dram, but past distillery releases have set a high bar for Scotia, and this falls short of some of the truly great releases we've had. Nevertheless, you won't be disappointed if you have a bottle.

Score: 7.5/10


Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival Edition 2021

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 56.1%

Price: £50.00

The 2021 Campbeltown Malts release was an unpeated 10-year-old whisky that was originally matured in first-fill bourbon barrels, followed by a five-month finish in first-fill Bordeaux wine barrels from the Médoc region.

Nose

Rice crackers, vanilla ice cream, fresh pine cones, cherries, and three-day-old Malbec (a.k.a. slightly oxidised) are noticeable on the nose. Both cask types used for this whisky are noticeable, and they have blended nicely. Upon revisiting, notes of orange Creamola foam and strawberries emerge. It's a pleasant nose that is not overly winey.

Palate

There's a lovely syrupy mouthfeel to this dram. We're getting notes of cloves, treacle, strawberry jam, and burnt toffee. It's perhaps a little too spicy, with lingering hints of cardamom and five spice on a good-length finish. As time passes in the glass, additional flavours emerge, including orange peel, honey, and a touch of saline solution. The typical 'funk' also begins to develop as it sits in the glass.

Nose (with water)

With dilution, there's an increase in the Campbeltown funk. We're also noticing more of the spice from the palate now appearing on the nose, somewhat masking the sweetness. Upon revisiting, we get notes of orange peel, red apples, and a hint of ginger spice.

Palate (with water)

Similar to this year's release, water has slightly diminished the mouthfeel. We're also noticing a slightly reduced fruitiness. However, we're now experiencing a pleasant hit of orange marmalade and a hint of coffee bitterness. Although the spice is better balanced, we would choose to forego water in order to preserve the mouthfeel and pre-dilution finish.

Conclusion

This has good integration between both the bourbon and wine casks which has led to a tasty Scotia . At its release price of £50, it's difficult to rate this any lower than 8 out of 10. Our favourite of the Glen Scotia festival releases.

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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