[Review] Glen Scotia - Double Cask 46%

Some of you might remember a post I published in July which presented one of the tasting sessions I attended in Manchester. The Glen Scotia Double Cask was part of the line up and it left quite a positive impression on my taste buds. Even if, for me, Ardbeg Dark Cove was the star of the night, the Double Double was a solid contender. That is the reason why I decided to buy a bottle a few weeks later.
Despite the fact that Campbeltown was once a booming whisky region, with nearly 30 different distilleries, it is now the smallest whisky-producing area in Scotland with only 3 working distilleries: Springbank (which also produce Longrow and Hazelburn), the newly re-opened Glengyle and Glen Scotia. 
Glen Scotia is not a distillery I was too familiar with before tasting this bottle in July. I remember having seen some of the older bottles with the previous design, which presented some kind of Highland cow on the bottle and packaging... Not that appealing I must say. The Double Cask however, like their new 15 year-old and Victoriana bottles, have been redesigned to make the visual more traditional somehow, more appealing in my opinion, but then again, it's about what is in the bottle rather than the bottle itself, isn't it?
Glen Scotia tends to distill its spirit in small batches and as mentioned above, only focuses on 3 core expressions. It also ages its spirit in a dunnage warehouse (traditional low stone-built storage building) adding to the authenticity of the whisky.

Now let's have a closer look at the Double Cask. Why is it call Double Cask first? Simply because their spirit ages in oak cask before being finished in a combination of first fill bourbon barrels and sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. That sounds like a good mix. It is also bottled at the stronger ABV of 46% and is not chill-filtered. The amber colour could be natural even if it is not mentioned on the label. 

Nose: Quite bittery and sweet first, with vanilla and chocolate, fruity too with peach and hints of citrus, some spiciness and iodine also present on the nose.

Palate: Very rich and quite oily, sweet again with chocolate and toffee/treacle, from fresh fruit on the nose it becomes more dried fruit, raisin on the palate, still some spicy bitterness. Very pleasant.

Finish: Rich, sweet and bitter, but dry too, some sherry notes, chocolate, banana and a hint of salt.

With water: On the nose, the chocolate becomes milkier, sweeter but fresher too with some ginger notes.The palate is still warm and quite spicy like the finish.

From a not very well known distillery, this is a very good single malt. I would actually fully agree with its 3 word description on the bottle: "rich and spicy". It is a nice mix of fruity sweetness, spicy oakiness and coastal saltiness... Delicious! It is also very reasonably priced as I paid £38 for my bottle, even if, since buying it, I realised it is available in Marks and Spencer (UK) for £34. It might not be available everywhere, but if you come across it, well worth a purchase!


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