I didn’t find out until posting our review to Instagram that the Glen Scotia Campbeltown 2019 was very “sought after” by the whisky community. But we had independently come to the conclusion that this was a very good dram when we did our tasting, so I am not surprised. We had purchased it because it sounded interesting and because it was quite a good price ($69.99 at K&L, where it is still available).
Because of the wide range of rum out there, rum cask finish can impart anything from a very banana-ester-funk taste (from a high ester Jamaican rum) to a sweet molasses taste – or even a bit of a grassy taste (agricole). The rum cask chosen is a Guyana demarara rum barrel (think: El Dorado) and we would expect a fruity and sweet quality to it. Adding these qualities to the peat was an compelling idea to me (peat-meets-sweet is my favorite combination) and the dram certainly delivered.
Glen Scotia Campbeltown 2019
Nose: Biscuits and sweet scones, buttery sweetness, mowed grass, gasoline, cream soda, Citronella candles, light pears, oranges
Palate: Dark chocolates, lacquered honey, smoked bacon, burst of fruits, pears, caramelized apples, spices and cinnamon
Finish: Ends with mocha, wood, and toffee
Score: 8/10. Excellent.
Overall: Very complex. There’s a touch of the rum cask, but there’s also a bounty of other flavors. The peat comes in the form of smoked bacon, but it is not overwhelming.
Quick overview of our scoring system. Note that we try to give a “5” for an average whisky, which is lower than standard whisky scoring guides (typically around 80).
- Age: 15 years
- Distilled in 2003, released in 2019
- Cask: 15 years in American oak hogsheads, 8 months in Guyana demarara rum barrels
- ABV: 51.3%
- This was a special release for the annual Campbeltown Malts Festival (Springbank, Glengyle, Glen Scotia, Beinn an Turic, and Cadenhead’s co-host this festival)
- Glen Scotia has been operating for over 180 years (originally named Scotia) and is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland (currently run by only 9 employees)
- Glen Scotia processes three types of malt: unpeated, medium-peated, and heavily-peated. The distillery mostly supplies fillings for brands but has recently began focusing more on its own branded whisky.