Seriously though, it was amazing, and fun, and really cool to sit back and drink with fellow Scotch nerds. Thank you to/u/muaddib99 for setting the whole thing up.
I’m going to go in backwards order now. Why? Because it’s a Special Edition Feather’s Flight review!
So it’s the end of the night. I have not broken the peat barrier. You know, that barrier for entry you hit as soon as you have a peaty whisky? The one where you really shouldn’t have anything non-peated after that point, because… well, all you taste is peat?
Yeah, I avoided that. Because tonight I’m fufilling a promise I made to /u/Suck_It_Trebek . Which he’s most likely just ignored or forgotten.
However when I make a faceless stranger a promise on the Internet, I follow through, dammit.
So I’m reviewing a new Glen Scotia today. And by ‘new’, I mean new to me, as Glen Scotia has new bottlings from 2 years ago, and I haven’t had any.
So, we have Glen Scotia 1992 – Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail). No picture of the dram, unfortunately, as I had been drinking and well.. forgot. Mostly because I was having too good a time.
As usual, I had sips of water between each dram, no major flavours before hand, and I took time between each dram to let it sit, let my own tastebuds reset, and enjoy the pub atmosphere at Feathers.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Age: 15 years
Cask Type: First Fill Sherry Hogsheads
Nose: Floral, pear, peat, black cherry, birch, lemon cake, mandarin oranges
Alright, this is… odd. So it has some peat, which is weird, and some fruitiness, though it’s more acidic than typical sherry.
There’s no spice here, or red fruits; rather it’s closer to Madeira, though not bad, like Madeira finishes.
It’s… odd? Does that help? No? Complex and maybe gives you a spider as a present? Still not helping? Oh well.
Taste: Plum, sour wine, pine, nutmeg, floral, red licorice
Again, not like a typical sherry influence. Yet really tasty. Big flavours, mostly unripe fruits mixed with Lowland like flavours.
Finish: Dark cherry, molasses, nectarine, peat, lemon juice, fruit punch, musty
And here’s where the Sherry influence really amps up. The peated nature of the Glen Scotia mixes with the Sherry and gives you a deep, dark flavour.
The finish is the first I’d be able to definitively guess the Cask type on this dram. I actually had to get /u/muaddib99 to taste some (had to twist his arm) to ensure I wasn’t overdoing my tongue, and he agreed, it tastes musty and almost oxidized, yet still flavourful.
Not that he remembers it, probably.
Conclusion: So, the question comes up: How does Glen Scotia compare to Springbank?
Well, it’s hard to say. I’ve had 6 Springbanks, all from the standard offerings, and I’ve had 2 IB Glen Scotias, each from Gordon & MacPhail. So, that’s my bias. I may change my mind later.
I’d say that Springbank (the line, not the whole distillery) is an amazing whisky that mixes light peat well with fruit and big flavours, even at low Abv. They also do cool stuff with finishes.
Glen Scotia is more peated, somewhat fruity, yet does have some balance issues. Springbank is better to me, however I wouldn’t turn down a Glen Scotia in the future.
This dram is odd, tasty, and complex. It’s the right Abv, it’s the right age, and it is fun to drink. There’s some issues: It’s musty, and there are moments of off flavours (like the sourness in the taste). That being said, I’d recommend it.
Scotch review #242, Campbeltown review #14, Whisky Network review #370