Last month Glen Scotia distillery, one of three Campbeltown distilleries, relaunched their Glen Scotia 18 Year Old expression. It’s replacing the old 18 Year old expression that exists since 2013 which may be familiar to you because of the blue colors theme of the bottle and label (see image on the right).
So only 4 years later, the expression is coming back in a new and more mainstream-y (or perhaps should we see less avant-garde?) packaging and coloring. But the big news are that it also boasts a new liquid recipe. the old version was matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks and this time the spirit was matured for 17 years in ex-bourbon casks, before married together and finished in Oloroso sherry casks for 12 months.
I guess the older version wasn’t doing so well so they tried something else and see if they can come with a better whisky. Did it work for them?
Nose: Bright and fruity with sooty smoke, very punchy at first even at 46%. Dusty, salt and minerals, pears, toffee and honey. After a while some sherry notes shows up: dried red fruit interwoven with the bright and fresh honey, cinnamon and nutmeg spices. nose is going back and forth between the delicate sherry notes the bourbon impact notes.
Palate: Honey, gentle smoke, chili, fizzy sour candies, then gentle dried fruit shows up along with wet ashes, cinnamon, charcoal smoke and eventually pepper and oak spices.
Finish: Short medium finish, bright, minerals, oak spices and pepper, sweet, dried fruit, honey, lingering smoke and spices.
Thoughts: Oh this new recipe works much better and the result is a vast improvement over the older version. Mind you, this is not a Springbank but it does packs gentle smokiness, coastal and mineral notes with a bright fruitiness and gentle sherry notes. Definitely a good sipper and finally Glen Scotia have something good to offer for this age bracket.