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Whisky Reviews

1991 Glen Scotia 28 Years Old Single Malt, Blackadder Statement Edition – Sherry Cask, 57.8% ABV

 

I recently found myself returning to the comforting embrace of Samsu Huay Kuan (三蒸會館), a snug specialty spirits bar sitting in a quiet corner of Concorde Hotel Singapore. I like this place because it offers a quiet setting amid the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road, a space with good spirits and where the chatter is subdued enough to allow for light conversation.

Word around town was that they had recently introduced a fresh line-up of bottles from Blackadder – a well-known Scotch whisky independent bottler that focuses on unfiltered single cask whiskies. For those unfamiliar, the owner of the bar is Interco-MLE which is also the official distributor for Blackadder in Singapore. As a whisky enthusiast, I felt it was almost my duty to give them a try.

We have a 28-year-old bottle of Glen Scotia with us today from Blackadder, matured in a ‘Sherry cask’. What sherry? I don’t know.

Serious whisky enthusiasts would know about the Campbeltown region which enjoys an outsized reputation for the small amount of whisky it makes. The area is now home to just 3 distilleries - Glen Scotia, Springbank and Glengyle.

According to records, Glen Scotia has been operating for close to 190 years. While it doesn’t receive the same limelight as its neighbour Springbank, it is treated as a solid representation of Campbeltown malts with its nuanced maritime influence and oiliness.

Let’s give this a taste.

1991 Glen Scotia 28 Years Old Single Malt, Blackadder Statement Edition, 57.8% ABV – Review



Colour: Copper.

Nose: Rich, bright and pleasantly sweet. Bright cherry and tartness cranberries at the forefront, with a jammy sweet richness, seamlessly blending into milk chocolate aroma, and the soft scent of new leather adds depth. There's a super syrupy quality to it, reminiscent of pancake syrup, coupled with more depths of dark chocolate.

Palate: Greets the tongue with a lively, spicy and savoury sensation and an impressively oily texture. Opens with honey dominating the profile and a subtle undertone of salty olive brine. At the same time we have heavy spices and an intense menthol note coming through quite assertively, melding into liquorice candy.

Given the robustness of this, I felt adding a splash of water was in order. A couple drops of spring water does mellow down the spices a little, and unlock more dried fruit notes. I get more cranberry jam, dried apricots, and the rich plum-like note of Pedro Ximinez Sherry. The thick, viscous mouthfeel persists.

Finish: The finish is quite lengthy. A gradual transition towards the syrupy and minty character of Hacks cough drops, with a delicate sweet ash emerges as the final note.

 

My Thoughts:

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You can certainly pick out the signature Campbeltown touches: caramel, the coastal saltiness (or olive brine), and a light touch of smoke (right at the end).

But more importantly, despite many years of aging, I appreciate its ability to maintain a fresh, vibrant profile without veering into the dry, leathery territory that some aged sherried whiskies can possess. It’s full of sweetness, without heavy tannins or sulphur that mar our enjoyment of a Sherry profile whisky.

If I had to name a bone to pick I’d say that the pronounced heat can be a tad overpowering for newer drinkers - a bit of water helps to round off the edges.

@CharsiuCharlie