The sole Campbeltown dram in the Campbeltown Virtual Tasting Pack comes courtesy of Glen Scotia – this example, a 10 year old drawn from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: An early morning walk in woodland – green leaves, fir cones and sprue trees sit with wet soils, white chocolate and gooseberries. Waxy woodiness with camphor and a ‘quartzy’ mineral vein are supported by griddled waffles and puff pastry. Reduction adds doughnuts, toasted bread, nutmeg and allspice making for altogether more rounded experience.
Taste: Forest camp fires – ‘green’ smoke from fresh bracken, moss and fallen leaves together with resinous charred tree bark. The development moves into sharp lemon and gooseberry before emphasising cloth, hessian and leather. Diluted, this has some flintiness with sharp-edged rocks, whilst mild-mannered hospital antiseptic creams present itself alongside buttery flan and tart cases.
Finish: Quite long with wood smoke, bitter steeped tea, biting citrus and a pang of medicinalness in the background.
A theme seems to be emerging with this year’s festival releases – I much prefer all of them diluted. This Glen Scotia is no exception to that, offering a sense of ‘vagueness’ in its natural state, whilst coming alive with brighter and sweeter top notes and flavours once reduced. There’s been a raft of good 93s over the last few months….this one is entirely decent, but not quite in the same compelling league.