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  • Writer's pictureHarold

Glen Scotia Duo

A nice little survey into how Glen Scotia's popularity has grown, in recent years would be to look at their annual Campbeltown Malts Festival release. What started as a somewhat modest, but substantial "limited offering" back in 2018 of 2,400 bottles, has jumped to TEN TIMES that amount in less than only five years. The 2022 and 2023 Malts Fest editions each had a turnout of 24,000 bottles stretching globally to markets far and wide. Production levels aside...that's a massive leap for any distillery to take, which shows just how much faith (and financing, of course) Loch Lomond has put behind their proud Campbeltonian single malt.

 
Glen Scotia Victoriana (2020) - 54.2%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Glen Scotia

Victoriana (2021) - 54.2%


Introduced back in 2015, the "Victoriana" expression has been a go-to favorite of mine for a few years now. As a standard core release in their lineup, there's understandably, some batch variation but the flavor profile remains persistent. The "deep charred" oak finish helps to amplify Glen Scotia's robust Campbeltown spirit into a fitting tribute of what a Victorian style of whisky would've tasted like.


Appearance: Tawny, burnt amber

First Whiff: Eating warm marshmallow Circus Peanuts in woodshop class.

Nose: Thick...orange sherbet, wood heavy with some obvious toasted/salted caramel, warm honey, and doughy vanilla cookies.

Palate: Chunky, chewy, oily and rich...pretty standard for Glen Scotia, at this point. Crisp red apples offer a slightly sour note but soon butters off the tongue and brings a comforting cake-y sense...pound cake...vanilla crème...dare I say, almost like a Twinkie? Do they still make those??

Finish: Medium-long, creamy liqueur, mouth coating dulce de leche.


Summary: This is such a guilty pleasure pour for me, I almost feel a little ashamed for loving it so much. It's not that complex, and perhaps that's why I struggle to break down whatever nuance which might be hiding underneath the wonderfully rich, sweet and oily mouthfeel. But surely, we're allowed a little comfort dram from time to time. Aren't we?

IDS SCORE: 85

 
Glen Scotia 11 Year |Malts Festival 2023| White Port Cask Finish - 54.7%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Glen Scotia

11 Year |Campbeltown Malts Festival 2023|

White Port Cask Finish - 54.7%


This year's festival release was one of the few releases we had this year, which introduced "white port" to most of us whisky drinkers. I've yet to actually try any white port, on its own though, and while I feel very confident in my abilities to Google a new subject, I'll admit the only differences I can find from its more widely used ruby/tawny port variances is that it seems to be a bit more versatile.


It ranges from a very dry style, often used in cocktails...to a very sweet style known as lagrima, which is enjoyed similar to any other dessert wine. Depending on which grape, and whether it's aged for a short time (in a vat) or a long time (in wood) will impact all of its flavor components, naturally. Now we obviously have a cask-aged white port here, but the finer details aren't mentioned with this release. Which leads me into a sort of blind appreciation of what's being imparted onto the spirit after its 12-month finish.


Appearance: Palo Cortado/Chestnut Oloroso sherry

First Whiff: Cranberry-Orange, doughy scones.

Nose: Mild at first, a bit refrained while showing that classic Glen Scotia thickness that subdues most of the ethanol. The label says this is "lightly peated" but the initial nose begs to differ. There's a sour vegetal funk thing going on, like rotten apples and peaches...in a good way of course. Similar wood style to the Victoriana as well with some salted caramel, manuka honey and ginger spice. Over time it softens to a more familiar, pound cake-y profile.

Palate: Not your typical chewiness from Glen Scotia, but still oily. A bit of ethanol guides the front before opening to some ripe stone fruits...apricots, peaches and rounded red apple/sweet cinnamon. There's this mild-sweet, grainy, toasted bread, cereal note thing I can't quite put a name to but it's towards the back as well.

Finish: Long, warming...a bit peppery. Slightly metallic/coppery, but overall easy going.


Summary: I would say the white port had very little influence in this case, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd call it a vehement crowd pleaser and perhaps, end of the night type dram, as it wins points in the nose/texture portion while lacking a bit of the complexity you would need/want to sustain you towards the early part of a tasting. A dessert style whisky from a dessert wine style finish...not exactly surprising but still, down right enjoyable.

IDS SCORE: 85

 

Glen Scotia Duo

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