Friday, March 31, 2017

Whisky Review: Archives Glen Scotia 20 Year 1992/2012

While Glen Scotia has been getting more attention since its latest relaunch of its lineup, it still exists firmly in the shadow of its more famous Campbeltown brethren. In no small measure this is because, while it often produces good whisky, its output is rather inconsistent.

This was distilled in February 1992, filled into a hogshead, then bottled in May 2012 at 50.4% without coloring or chill filtration. The outturn for this release was only 80 bottles, which suggests that it was a cask split with one or more other bottlers.

Archives Fourth Release Glen Scotia 20 Year 1992/2012 Cask 08/71

Nose: very oily - mix of olive, fish, and motor oil, roasted malt, earthy, mild peat smoke, light caramel/nutty oak, toffee, savory, green (apples, pears) and overripe fruit (banana, berries, apple). After adding a few drops of water the dirt becomes worn leather, the malt becomes cleaner, the smoke becomes incense.

Taste: fairly sweet up front, quickly joined by oak that becomes increasingly strong and tannic towards the back, vague fruitiness in the background, light grime and peat come in near the back, with more bittersweet character. After dilution it becomes sweeter up front, maltier throughout, and the oak and peat/dirt fade significantly.

Finish: tannic oak, fresh peat, seashore tang, soy sauce, malt,

All the Springbank fans who didn't buy this really missed out. While distinctly Glen Scotia, it has that dirty Campbeltown character with a touch of peat smoke that folks love so much about Springbank. With a rather austere profile I can't imagine this being a crowd pleaser, but if you like your malts to be something other than monochromatically sweet this should be fun. Sadly, for as long as it stuck around at the WhiskyBase Shop, it's all gone now.

Diluted to 45%

Nose: gently woody, fresh vegetation/hay, creamy berries, vanilla, leather, floral, a little citrus peel

Taste: generally the same, but softer - dirty sweet malt with grapefruit peel overtones throughout, overlaid with slightly tired oak, drier malt, and a little peat around the middle, more funky/grimy/tannic near the back

Finish: Campbeltown malt, a little dirty, soft oak, bitter tannins

Dilution seems to bring out the softer side of the malt, especially on the nose. Many of the dirtier elements are tamed, bringing out more gentle cask influence. The flavors get a little simple and flat, but not unengaging. While it's a wilder ride at full strength, I don't think it would have been terrible to bottle this at 46%.


  1. This sounds great, I'm happy I have 2 bottles in the wings. If I remember correctly it was MAO who alerted us to it.

    1. Hopefully yours didn't suffer any depletion in transit like mine did.