Single malt whisky - tasting notes

29 Aug 2013

Glen Scotia 16 Years

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Glen Scotia

For the past four decades, Glen Scotia distillery had an unstable production with slow periods and mothballing. The only official bottlings were a 12 year-old and a peated version. In November 2012 they announced a major investment plan to expand their global operations. This included the launch of five new expressions and a totally new packaging.

 

Glen Scotia whisky range

The new presentation was not particularly well received. Most reactions I’ve seen were somewhere in between ‘alcopop style’, slightly tacky and plain awful. De gustibus… In any case I’m quite sure it will catch your attention when sitting in a shelf, so it may have the desired effect in terms of sales.

The new range is pretty dense with 10, 12, 16, 18 and 21 years old versions not far from each other. With such intermittent production (e.g. none between 1994 and 1999), I wonder whether they have enough stock to differentiate so much. Anyway the good news is that the whole range is unchill-filtered and not coloured.

Glen Scotia 16 Year Old sits in the middle of the range.  It’s bourbon matured. The Aurora Borealis on the label tells you it’s part of the older expressions, and the green hue sets it apart from all others.

 

 

Glen Scotia 16 Year OldGlen Scotia 16 yo (46%, OB 2013)

Nose: gristy barley notes, with hints of yeast and a vague fruity sweetness in the back. Oranges and honey. Becomes quite biscuity. There’s also a mineral side to it, with some briney coastal notes and a hint of smoke. Aniseed and pepper. Mouth: fairly grainy and slightly austere. Slightly alcoholic as well. Ginger and salty liquorice. Evolves towards big, nice notes of lemon and pink grapefruit. Hints of toasty oak, ashes and a growing bitterness. Finish: medium long, still some bitterness alongside a peppery heat.

I was pleasantly surprised by the nose, but the palate can’t hide the quirky style that is common for most of the other Glen Scotia expressions I’ve tried. Around € 60.

Score: 81/100

Glen Scotia 16 Years 2.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-08-29
  • Ricardo

    Perhaps less time on the packaging and more effort on the spirit?

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1601 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.