How do you say no to an invitation to sample the best whisky in the world? Sadly it didn’t involve a trip to Scotland but Drinks Digest’s Whisky Editor David Fuller took one for the team and dialled into a virtual tasting of Glen Scotia hosted by Iain MacAllister, Master Distiller at Glen Scotia.
The Glen Scotia Distillery is based on the remote West Coast of Scotland in Campbeltown, which was known as “The Whisky Capital of the World” and home to more than 30 distilleries during the Victorian era. Today, Glen Scotia Distillery is one of the only remaining distilleries in the area which is now branded “the Whiskiest place in the world”.
Its 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch recently won “Best In Show” and “Best Scotch” at this year’s prestigious San Francisco
Spirit Competition. The distillery is focused on the ancient and distinct art that is distilling, resulting the ability to continuously produce the highest quality scotch whiskies worldwide.
Whisky is named uisge beatha in Gaelic and means the ‘water of life’. A true Scotch whisky, like those produced by Glen Scotia contains no other added substances except for water, barley (or other grain), yeast and occasionally caramel.
It was 7am in Scotland as we sat down with Iain (above) to taste excellent whiskies together.
These were my three favourites:
Glen Scotia Double Cask – a wonderfully easy-drinking Campbeltown Single Malt with tastes of toffee, salted caramel and a sweet dry sherry finish. Aged in bourbon barrels before being finished in PX sherry casks, this expression provides the perfect balance of rich spicy fruits, sea spray and sweet vanilla oak. This cracking wee dram took out took out Gold in the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Priced at $80.
Glen Scotia 15 year old – the big brother to the double cask delivers an exceptional flavour profile from a finish in Oloroso sherry casks, and was my personal favourite. The whisky provides a complicated palate where the initial nose would lead you to expect plump fruits, but what you get is a surprisingly dry element. Adding water will brought out the caramelised elements, balanced with the wood elements expected of a 15-year-old whisky. The critics have also enjoyed this one with awards including double gold at the 2016 San Francisco World’s Spirits Competition and Gold at the International Spirits Challenge in 2020. Priced at $102.
Glen Scotia 25 year old: And finally “The Best Whisky in the World” the Glen Scotia 25, a 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch winning “Best In Show” and “Best Scotch” at this year’s prestigious San Francisco Spirit Competition. This “supercharged Campbeltown style” 25-year-old whisky has been matured in American oak barrels before being married in first-fill bourbon before bottling at 48.8% with no added colour or chill filtration. The signature nose has hints of vanilla oak, interwoven with the subtle notes of sea spray and spicy aromatic fruits. On the palate we tasted coastal air, red apple and tangy orange peel with vanilla syrup and caramel sweetness followed by a long lingering finish of sea salt with a spicy note of ground ginger.
Glen Scotia scotch whiskies can be found at Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice Liquor Market stores across the country.