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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Glen Scotia 17 year old 2002 SMWS 93.128

This week's Glen Scotia grouping isn't quite what I thought it was because all three whiskies are peated. So much for sussing out Scotia's general style(s). Instead, I'm focusing on just their peated style(s), which isn't actually a letdown. Thanks to Monday's official 10 year old Peated release I'm feeling some optimism about their smoky stuff. Today's SMWS refill hoggie release was released for the virtual 2020 Campbeltown Malts Festival.

Distillery: Glen Scotia
Ownership: Loch Lomond Group (via Exponent)
Region: Campbeltown
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 17 years (6 May 2002 - 2020)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Cask: 93.128
Cutesy SMWS name: Smoke and smugglers
Outturn: 213 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 54.9%
(from a bottle split)


Definitely a bigger, louder cousin to the 10 year old. Palo Santo and sage smokes (hippie whisky!) mix with pears, pecans and toasted marshmallows, with just a touch of sugary rum in the nose's background. The palate reads heavier than the nose, with smoked almonds, smoked turkey, liquid smoke, stones, soil and bark. Moderate sweetness, savoriness and (horseradish) bitterness fill in the edges. It finishes with a solid balance of sweet, smoke, saline, chiles and tanginess.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or >1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose shifts quite a bit, now focusing on white peaches and limes, moss and ocean, and a softer wood smoke. The palate reads much fruitier as well. Oranges and nectarines meet well with chile oil and dusty smoke. It finishes with oranges and smoke in unison.


I dig this style. Though it's not related to Benromach and Ardmore, it would certainly be a friendly neighboring clan, or some other sort of terrible metaphor. The edgier neat palate works for one environment, while the fruitier diluted palate fits another. Like autumn and spring. I wonder if SMWS has any sibling 2002 hoggies they're letting sit for another 5-10 years, because those could be utter gems.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - £85 in 2020, a price that seems unimaginable now
Rating - 89