Unpeated 5 Month Bordeaux Cask Finish
Glen Scotia is not an easy distillery bottle to find in my area. I’ve had the 15-year and Victoriana bottles, but other than a dram or two, I don’t have much experience with the distillery. When this bottle popped up on K&L, I took a gamble and snagged myself a bottle.
This bottling is an unpeated malt first matured in ex-bourbon casks before being finished for 5 months in Merdoc region Bordeaux casks. Presented at a cask strength of 56.1%, it is naturally colored and non-chill filtered.
Over about 3 months, I tried various resting times and dilution levels. I found that about 5-6 drops an ounce with 15-20 minutes of uncapped resting to be optimal. 30 or more minutes preferred.
The nose is full of sugary sweet brown sugar, butterscotch, and molasses notes. As you let it sit and warm up more, delicate grape flavors come forward along with nice old oak, and spices. It has a brandy,-like, funky or musty wine aroma to it. Apples, wild blackberries, and currents. Pink peppercorns, dried tea, coffee. Leather, moss, wet vegetation, forest floor scents. A surprising amount of cereal grains as well with some oats, bran, almonds, and walnuts. There’s a metallic coppery flavor as well like citric acid and nickel.
On the palate, you are going to get a ton of bold spices and ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and peppercorns. Dried and seasoned black cherrywood. Honey, and raw demerara sugar. There’s a vegetal green element to this as well. Not just grassy and hay but also sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, and carrots. Dark fruits and berries. Blackberries, currants, mulberries. Dark cocoa. There is a distinct metallic note that is abrasive. With extended air time, it completely dissipated from the palate.
Baking cocoa, honey, and dry tannic wine flavors encompass the finish of this whisky. Cinnamon, nutmeg, earthy astringency. Wet tobacco and fragrant spices. Raw sugar, caramel, compote, and singed pie crust. The metallic note I got on the palate became more evident as #2 pencil shavings on the finish. Graphite and tin specifically. The slight bitterness of the red wine is rather pleasant with the sweeter fruits and malt.
This grew on me over time. Some nights I was not too fond of those astringent metals and on another night I enjoyed it enough to pour myself another dram.
The casual experience is what I enjoyed most about this bottle. I didn’t have to think as much with this one after I dialed in the dilution and rest time. While this was good to great whisky, I won’t be rushing out to find a replacement. It has made me curious about the 2022 peated release however as I think a bit of smoke and saline would have helped elevate this bottle a bit more.
I would still recommend a buy on this bottle. The price is right, and the experience is delightful.