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Monday, June 15, 2020

Glen Scotia 25 year old

The private equity firm takeover of Loch Lomond Distillers in 2014 seems to have worked wonders for the subsequent quality of Glen Scotia's official single malts. It's just a damned shame they abandoned the delightfully hideous Disco Cow packaging. The Disco Cow potential was infinite, especially for the recent luxury bottlings. The $4K 45-year-old Glen Scotia would have been perfect as Cocaine Cow, complete with a complementary mirror. This 25-year-old could have been Amyl Nitrate Cow, with a popper-shaped bottle. I cannot be alone in seeing the potential here!

Truth be told, I don't know how appropriate that previous paragraph was. I just wanted to say Cocaine Cow.

Less importantly, I took part in a bottle share of the 25yo, an all-bourbon-cask release, bottled at a healthy 48.8%abv. It also comes with the required contemporary packaging of a wooden casket and a torture-device / neck brace. I don't know why this is considered normal yet Amyl Nitrate Cow is weird.

Distillery: Glen Scotia
Ownership: Loch Lomond Group (via Exponent)
Region: Campbeltown
Type: Single Malt
Age: minimum 25 years
Maturation: all bourbon casks, then married for a year in first fill bourbon barrels
Alcohol by Volume: 48.8%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? probably not
(from a bottle split)

The nose is hearty mix of (sorry for the list here) industrial smoke, ocean brine, green herbs, honey, apple pie, anise, bananas, tinned fruit cocktail, dunnage and farm. At first the palate is reminiscent of an even older Calvados, with lovely ancient oak, toasty spices, baked apples and mint. But then it switches to an old Highland style with an intense oily industrial side, tangy citrus, savory herbs and a gentle earthiness. Its long finish fills the senses with dunnage, earth, roots, menthol, umami and (eventually) fresh stone fruits.

Within the modern packaging lives an excellent whisky of a very un-modern style. As a result of the limited tinkering, the 25 year old is more of a thinker than a drinker and one that may take time to fully appreciate. It's also much better than the two versions of the recent 25-year-old Springbank I've tried, to which one can thank Glen Scotia's faith in its whisky and that lack of late term futzing. Though I'd love to complain about the Scotia's price, it's about 1/2 or 1/3 of the Springbank's and with a smaller overall outturn. So I have no complaints, but for the cows.

Availability - Limited amounts in US, Europe and Asia
Pricing - $250-$375 in Europe, $350-$400 in US and Asia
Rating - 90

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