I found this bottle of the Glen Scotia 15 on my shelves a month or so ago. It was a big surprise to me as I had no record or memory of ever having purchased it. After a bit of forensic analysis of credit card statements I was able to determine that I almost certainly purchased it at our local Costco a few days before we left for India in January 2020. Given everything that happened in short order after we got back I think I can be excused for not remembering this purchase. I think I must have bought it on a whim because it was on sale for less than $60 and that must have seemed like a good price for a 15 yo whisky at 46%. I mean, it is a very good price for a 15 yo whisky at 46%. As to whether that is its normal price in the US market, I don’t know: I have not looked. Anyway, I am very glad to add to my series of reviews of the current Glen Scotia core range and can only hope I will like it more than I did the NAS twins, the Double Cask and the Victoriana (which I reviewed last month). Let’s see how it goes.
Glen Scotia 15 (46%; from my own bottle)
Nose: Mildly sooty, mildly acidic with some metallic notes (copper coins) mixed in. The acid expands as it sits as does the metallic quality; picks up some organic, earthy notes as well (rotting leaves, damp earth). More citrus with time—somewhere between orange and lemon. A few drops of water and there’s quite a bit of malt and some cream.
Palate: Comes in as predicted but there’s more soot here and expanding sweetness when I swallow. Decent texture and a nice bite at 46%. On the second sip the soot moves more in the direction of charred oak and quite a lot of it. The citrus shows up here as well with air and time (sweet orange). Still a lot of char with water but the acid recedes a bit and some malty sweetness emerges here as well.
Finish: Medium-long. The sweetness persists, picking up a cereal character, but the soot and char are here too. The metallic notes make a return at the end. Longer and generally as on the palate with water.
Comments: I quite like this. Neat it’s pretty austere; with water, a bit sweeter. I’m happy that pre-pandemic 2020 me impulsively bought it. However, I’m not so sure I’ll be in much of a hurry to replace it. In this very general profile I prefer the offerings from Glen Scotia’s Campbeltown rivals or for that matter from Talisker or Clynelish.
Rating: 85 points.
Nice review. Recently this went up to ~$70 in Ohio (state-run liquor stores, not the worst. But certainly not great selection or value), and seems to have been a huge release for Glen Scotia. Still decent value in today’s market I feel. I also feel it improves a bit as the bottle drinks down. Cheers.
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Finished this bottle tonight and realized I never noted that as it went down there was more sweet fruit—orange peel but also something sweeter (plum?). Very nice—I’d up it a point tonight.