[Review] Glen Scotia - Campbeltown Harbour 40%

I popped into my local supermarket about a week ago and was very surprised to come across a bottle of Glen Scotia I had not seen or even heard of before. Its name, Campbeltown Harbour. A quick look online and apart from on the official Glen Scotia website, it is nowhere to be seen, so I guess this is a new release.

Now what is it exactly? Well I guess it is a new entry point in the range as this is the first Glen Scotia I find which is bottled at 40%. Also, unlike the Double Cask -where it is clearly stated on the packaging- this one doesn't seem to be unchillfiltered, which makes for a slightly disappointing start.  The maturation of the spirit has been done using first fill Bourbon barrels so expect a decent amount of vanilla sweetness. As I have been rather blown away by all the bottles I have tried from the distillery in the last couple of years, I thought I would give it a go.

So as I mentioned above, the Campbeltown Harbour is bottled at 40%, I suspect chillfiltered and despite a very rich amber colour, it has probably received the addition of some E150 colouring too. The key description on the bottle is "Sea spray and gentle smoke" so let's see if this is correct:

Nose: Sweet with lots of honey, toffee (Werther's original) and vanilla, some iodine too. Confectionery, rich stewed fruit but some heather and hints of smoke as well. I my mind, the Glen Scotia DNA is very much present on the nose. Good start!

Palate: My first impression was that the mouthfeel was a little on thin side (chillfiltration?) and I would still agree after a few more drams poured. It is sweet and toffeed again with some floral (nearly herby) notes too. There is a briny side to the whisky as well as hints of bitterness. As with most of the Glen Scotia bottles I own, I feel a little air allows the whisky to reach its full potential.

Finish: Decent length, with some sweet and briny smoke becoming more present. It is quite a rich finish, with some salty caramel and bitterness lingering around.

With water: The nose gets more citrus notes and more minerality. The palate is not as sweet and becomes a little more mineral too and the finish is smokier and spicier. Not sure I would add water to this one and if I did, a drop or two no more...

Overall I must say Glen Scotia did it again. This is a quality dram which will hopefully help the brand become more present on the wider whisky market and should encourage more people to discover this fantastic distillery. You definitely get the Glen Scotia experience with this bottle even if I still think it is a little toned down. And when you consider the price -the Campbeltown Harbour costs more of less the same as the Double Cask- I would say the Double Cask is a better option, but that is all down to personal preference!
I definitely think the future is bright for Glen Scotia, very bright!


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