I’m still on the bourbon cask trail. From Aberlour in the Speyside I went down to Bladnoch in the Lowlands, then west to Islay, and back to Arran. Let’s stick in the general vicinity before heading north to the Highlands and beyond. This Glen Scotia will be my Campbeltown stop. I got this sample from my friend Patrick—he was also the source of one of the Aberlours and the Arran, and I suspect he has no memory of ever having given me this one. I certainly have no memory of having received it. I’ve had very few Glen Scotias and so have no real expectations. The last one I tried and reviewed was quite old and was very good. This one was distilled two decades after that one and was bottled when 12-13 years old by Signatory (all the way back in 2005). This is not from their vaunted cask strength or unchilfiltered series but from the more entry-level 43% series (I’m not sure if they still put these out). I’ve had some decent whiskies from that series so I’m not expecting that to mean very much.
Glen Scotia 1992-2005 (43%; Signatory; bourbon cask 401; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Lemon, malt and some spicy oak; just a hint of some oiled machinery. The malt gets breadier as it sits and the oily note expands. With water the lemon turns to lime zest.
Palate: Quite a bit of peat to lead (not phenolic) along with some pepper and then all the stuff from the nose. Nice mouthfeel despite the low abv and, on the whole, it has a nice punch. With more time it begins to get a bit astringent—not exactly plasticky but something along those lines. Water makes it less astringent but also gets rid of most of the peat.
Finish: Long. The peat and oiled machinery go on for a while. As on the palate with time and water.
Comments: This started out really well but then went south on the palate with more time in the glass. It’s possible that this is due to my having held the sample for a really long time. Regardless, I really should explore Glen Scotia further: it’s quite a unique profile, even in less than stellar iterations.
Rating: 82 points.