Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Whisky Review: The Whisky Agency Liquid Library Glen Scotia 19 Year 1992/2011

Glen Scotia is the frequently-neglected member of the current Campbeltown trio.

Until recently very few official bottlings of Glen Scotia were available. The line was relaunched first in 2013 then again within the last year after the first proved too ambitious. Before then the best way to try Glen Scotia was through independent bottlings.

The Gordon & Macphail I tried was a bit of an odd duck, but it was young, low proof, and from bourbon casks. This release from The Whisky Agency was fully matured in a sherry cask (and what a sherry cask, judging from the color) and bottled at a healthier 46%.

The Whisky Agency Liquid Library Glen Scotia 19 Year 1992/2011

Nose: very dry, huge sherry mixed with sulphur, almost meaty, malty top notes, caramel, nutty, cacao nibs, a touch of coffee, leather, dried fruit, a hint of something floral, baking spices. After adding a few drops of water the malt becomes stronger and integrates with the sherry, there is more noticeable sweetness,

Taste: briefly sweet up front, which is quickly overwhelmed by dry sherry and black pepper/sulphur spiciness, fading into rising tannins and chocolate covered coffee beans near the back, with an undercurrent of creamy malt riding throughout. After dilution it becomes much sweeter, with more fruity sherry and integrated sulphur, the malt is more apparent, and some nuttiness comes out, the spiciness is turned down, but it feels flatter.

Finish: vinous, oak tannins, sherry, a touch of sulphur, relatively short

Well, this certainly was an active cask. And one that was sterilized with a hefty sulphur candle before it was filled. So if you like those big, sulfurous whiskies, this might tickle your fancy. While I found things to like, I was disappointing that the distillery character had been mostly overwhelmed, other than a certain dirtiness that might have been more about the cask than the spirit. But if this sounds like something that would tickle your fancy it's still available from some European retailers for a fairly reasonable price given its age.

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