Thanks to /u/nofansky for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.
I’m always on the lookout to try stuff from Glen Scotia. Their core range is quite limited but there are quite a number of independent bottlings floating around. Unfortunately they can be quite hit-or-miss so I won’t often pull the trigger on a full bottle, but the profile of the distillery is dirty and oily, just what I like, so always glad to try.
This one is bottled by Cadenhead (interestingly owned by the other Campbeltown distillery, Springbank) and is from their Wood range, which aims to show off the effects of various cask types, so cask influence is a big thing. This one is from a sherry butt, so big sherry, which can work really well with Glen Scotia.
Aged 16 years. 57.8% ABV. Matured in a sherry butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.
Nose: Dry sulphur, like matches and gunpowder. Loads of it. Underneath is a layer of juicy red berries and jam, leather and dark chocolate. Caramelised sugar. Toasted nuts with honey. Ginger biscuits. Wood spice. Hand cleaning grit. Dried orange peel.
Palate: Bitter red fruits. Guava fruit leather. Mango peel. Unlit tobacco. Bitter, nutty wood. Salty toffee. Herbal honey.
Finish: Long. Bitter wood. Woodspice. Dry red fruits. Dark chocolate.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This wasn’t just your run of the mill sherry bomb, but really full of those gunpowdery sulphur notes that whisky sometimes gets from a sherry cask. It’s also quite bitter when it hits the palate, not unbalanced bitterness, just a lot of bitter notes. This could be a very polarising whisky, but I like both the gunpowdery sherry and the bitterness, so for me it’s a fantastic dram.