Glen Scotia Icons of Campbeltown Release 1 The Mermaid & Glen Scotia 13yo Dunnage Series Cask 19/359-2


Today we’re looking at the Icons of Campbeltown first release plus a bonus Dunnage Warehouse bottle review.

Glen Scotia Icons of Campbeltown Release 1 The Mermaid

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 54.1%

Price: £90.00

For those unaware Glen Scotia distillery has introduced a new five-part series named the "Icons of Campbeltown". This endeavour serves as a homage to the town's heritage, dating back to the 14th century.

The central theme for this series is derived from the Campbeltown market cross, an artefact from the 14th century. This market cross is adorned with distinct carvings representing saints, mythical creatures, and renowned folk heroes. Each release will be based on the aforementioned icons.

To represent these icons visually, Glen Scotia engaged the talents of artist Joel Holtzman, known for his notable work with industry giants like LucasFilm and Marvel. Tasked with translating Campbeltown's legends into art, Holtzman created original illustrations that will embellish the whisky packaging.

The series is inaugurated with "The Mermaid", a 12-year-old unpeated single malt. This whisky underwent maturation in ex-bourbon barrels and was later finished with an eight-month stint in Palo Cortado sherry casks. Bottled at 54.1% ABV without chill filtration, "The Mermaid" is a nod to Campbeltown's maritime folklore, especially the reported mermaid sightings.

Nose

The nose opens with sea salt, malt loaf, sweet vanilla cream, stewed green apples and a hint of raspberry purée. There’s a slight warehouse mustiness coming through as well. The alcohol feels well balanced, it’s easy to get our noses deep into the glass, only a little bit of mellow white pepper spice appearing. Time and air brings out more nutty sherry aromas, almond marzipan, jammy dodger biscuits and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Palate

On the palate we’re met with a lovely sweetness, boiled sweets, strawberry laces, dates and fudge. It then moves into a slightly more oaky latter palate with wholewheat crackers, saltwater, slightly burnt toffee and orange pith. The mouthfeel is nice, it’s got a syrupy, butterscotch-like texture, and the finish lingers on for a good while. After a bit of air, we’re getting some sweet and sour mix upfront, moving into dark chocolate with hazelnuts, with flakes of sea salt on top.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings forth more nutty sherry, dry roasted peanuts, prunes, cranberry juice and a little bit of sherry vinegar too. There’s still a good amount of salty sea air along with some pear skin too.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate maintains a good mouthfeel, although it’s a touch thinner than before. There’s more red fruits coming through upfront, cherries, sultanas and chocolate covered raisins. There’s also more black pepper spice appearing, along with warm toffee sauce. The finish also feels a touch shorter, but maintains the bitter oak from before dilution.

Conclusion

A quality Glen Scotia that’s taken on a good amount of aroma and flavour from the Palo Cortado cask, giving it an interesting new dimension. It’s well balanced, although there’s slightly too much bitterness on the finish for us. It can take water well, although it doesn’t need it. We’d happily have another dram.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

It’s around £15 more expensive than Victoriana, but carries an age statement. We wish this was a few quid cheaper, but unfortunately that’s not the way the whisky market is going.


Glen Scotia 13yo Dunnage Series Cask 19/359-2

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 55.1%

Price: £87.00

This release from Glen Scotia that was distilled in 2009 and initially matured in a first fill American oak cask before being finished in a Bordeaux red wine cask. 147 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose opens with vanilla flavoured fondant icing, a hint of red wine vinegar, Terry’s dark chocolate orange segments, a little dunnage warehouse earth and a handful of cloves. It has a slight pepperiness, white pepper mostly, alongside a mixture of dark fruits that are sitting in the background, red currants, plums and red apple skin. There’s that typical Campbeltown/Glen Scotia coastal aroma coming through too. There’s a touch of Irn-Bru appearing after some air, blackcurrant cordial too.

Palate

We’re met with a little spiced orange flavours initially, cinnamon and clove mixed into an old fashioned cocktail with a flamed orange peel. Light brown sugar, salted caramel, moving into a little bit of chili heat towards the latter part of the palate. The mouthfeel is good, it’s not overly viscous but there’s a nice oiliness here, and the finish lingers on for a while, with predominantly chocolate, orange and medium strength tannins sitting on our palates. Time and air brings out a little bit of acidity, fresh lemon juice, along with earthy and slightly tart raspberries.

Nose (with water)

Reduction brings more of a candied sweetness, boiled sweeties, icing sugar, strawberries and cream, a little bit of sponge cake, candied orange peel, but it maintains the dunnage warehouse earthiness we experienced before. It’s just really pleasant to nose now.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate continues the trend from the reduced nose, bringing lots of honeyed sweetness, caramel sauce, orange zest, brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon spice at the end of the palate. It takes water well, perhaps it loses a touch of complexity but it becomes even more easy to drink.

Conclusion

This is a warm dram, perfect for cold winter evenings. Perhaps it’s not the “perfect” or “most complex” whisky from a technical point of view, but it’s one that we just keep coming back to drink, it really gels with our tastes. It’s also a nice break from sherry matured drams, the red wine gives it something a little bit more unusual.

Score: 8/10

Value

A year older and a few pound cheaper than The Mermaid means it’s definitely better value, but unfortunately only available at the distillery... Assuming they have any bottles left.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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