As wonderful as Irish Whiskey is, thick, velvety and smooth, occasionally I yearn for something from the Scottish shores. And this weekend, Somewhiskybloke was lucky enough to see his partner from across the Irish Sea, Somewhiskylass, and with her came all memories of soft Scottish whisky and the wonderful tastes therein. And so I dug up an old review of the Glen Scotia Double Cask, one of the final whiskies I imbibed in in my Scottish days. I have always had a soft spot for Glen Scotia. I see their whisky being made for drinking, not collecting, made by whisky drinkers for whisky drinkers, though their biggest problem is that they are under the shadow of Springbank, the Lords of Campbeltown. However, in 2014 Glen Scotia was brought into the arms of the Loch Lomond Group, and it seems to be for the best for everyone. New branding, new marketing and a revived new attitude, they now look to impress at any and all opportunities. The Glen Scotia Double Cask itself it is an NAS whisky, first fill ex-bourbon into “Mature” American Oak into ex-Pedro Ximinez, bottled at 46%. Oh and by the way, should you ever get the chance to have a chat with the Loch Lomond Group Ambassador Ibon, you should give him a shout. And buy him a whisky, and then a few more. There’s a man who works for something he believes in. Anyway, onto the whisky.
A good opening on the nose with a wobbling vanilla panna cotta and raspberry jelly (I shook one of those to pieces once), spicy plum wine and steamed sweet carrots. We follow through into stone fruits; apricots, peaches and nectarines with a slight dash of honey, and the seaside comes through with rosemary and lemon brushed trout curled around shavings of fresh coconut cooked in a copper foil parcel. Green apples, an array of vanilla fudge and jersey caramels, chewy, sticky and oh so sweet, a clean finish to the nose that wraps everything up in a neat sugary blanket.
Our palate is spiced with cinnamon, cumin and a dash of ginger to round it out, and then hard boiled plum sweets next to toffee apples, raisins and a touch of prunes. Shortly after a bitter note sweeps through and gives away the base of dark chocolate, building nice and firm with a touch of chili. It follows into an oily mouthfeel, embracing butterscotch, coffee and smoky grapefruit rind grated over the fish we saw on the nose, succulent and moist, before we see wood shavings and delicate smoke coming through over time.
I do love me a Glen Scotia. And I do love a well-made whisky. This, most assuredly, is the both of those. It builds nice and slow, knows what it wants to do, and finishes clean. Aside from that, it is affordable, which is not something you find often nowadays with a damn good whisky. I wondered about the finishing they put it through at first, but once the whisky drops onto the tongue all reservations soar away as quickly as the whisky leaves the glass. Grab yourself a bottle and enjoy it with some friends.