Campbeltown Festival 2021: Glen Scotia Releases 10 Year Old Red Wine Cask Finished Malt
What you need to know:
- Glen Scotia comes from Campbeltown, the smallest of the whisky producing regions, with only two distilleries. Can you guess what the other is?
- Together they celebrate Campbeltown Malts Festival with a special annual release to mark the event.
- This year, Glen Scotia’s bottling is finished in Red Wine Casks from the Medoc region. Tasting notes below!
- Past years we saw a wonderful Rum Cask finish in 2019, which was my favorite.
- Whiskies from this region have a solid body, creamy and sweet, with oodles of fruits and citrus. A must try!
You might know that Scotland has six whisky producing regions, one of which is Campbeltown.
But did you know that Campbeltown is the smallest of the six regions? It is home to only two main distilleries: Springbank Distillery and Glen Scotia Distillery.
This wasn’t always the case, at one point Campbeltown was highly active, housing more than 30 distilleries, and was even known as the “whisky capital of the world”. However, the region didn’t take heed of the saying “quality over quantity” and soon faced a decline that left only two of the very best distilleries.
This became an issue when regulators required at least 3 distilleries to constitute a whisky producing region, and so Springbank had to revive a sister distillery, Kilkerran.
Part of a revitalization effort of the region, the distilleries have hosted an annual festival, much like the Feis Ile whisky festival organized by the Islay distilleries, called the Campbeltown Malts Festival.
This year, unfortunately due to Covid, no visitations will be allowed, but that has not stopped Glen Scotia from unleashing their annual entry for the festival, this year with a 10 Year Old Red Wine Cask finished bottle that promises to be fruity, zingy and spicy.
The unpeated whisky was first matured in active first-fill Bourbon barrels, boosting its sweet creaminess, and then followed by yet again highly active first-fill Bordeaux red win casks from the Medoc region for five months. Just enough time to zing up the whisky but not overpower it!
Any guesses which vineyard these casks are from?
The tasting notes to be expected are:
Red Berries, Floral Notes of Rose and Violet, Honey, Maritime Breeze
Strawberry, Apple, Toasted Vanilla, Lime Citrus
I’ve always been a fan of Campbeltown’s whiskies, with their signature fruity, citrusy flavors buoyed by a well-bodied creaminess that is both sweet and smooth. I find them to be just the right thickness where they are able to deliver solid distinctive flavors and the malt holds up well on the palate, without it becoming syrupy, or as people in Singapore and Malaysia would say, gelat (the term for “too much that you feel sick”).
It always amazes me how structured the mouthfeel is, where it doesn’t disintegrate, and how a fairly young whisky is able to be so flavorful and complex.
Strangely the only whisky that comes close to me is actually Suntory’s Hibiki. Just me?
I like Glen Scotia’s whiskies and for the past couple of years I’ve managed to get my hands on the annual Campbeltown Festival release and I really have not been disappointed. I daresay it is quite underrated because of its towering neighbor Springbank.
I myself only discovered it when I happened to try a dram of the Victoriana, which is really good I might add.
Past years, Glen Scotia had released a Ruby Port finish in 2018, a Rum Cask finish in 2019 and a Tawny Port finish in 2020. If you’ve been following my musings, you’ll know I’m a huge rum cask fan so you can guess which was my favorite.
In any case, if you haven’t tried Glen Scotia, mark it on your hit list. It’s light, fruity, citrusy, all flavors that are quite universally appreciated.
FYI: We got hands on this one, and we’re working on bring it to you real soon!