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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Glen Scotia

    The Campbelltown style of (malt Scotch) whisky is one of the lesser known extant regional styles, represented today by Glen Scotia and one other, Springbank. Some, I included, think that Glen Scotia tends to represent the historic Campbelltown style better than Springbank (which is good but has its own particular, or "house" character in my view). Glen Scotia is a frankly briny, flavoursome whisky but is only mildly peated. Campbelltown is not an island but is a long peninsula and its climate and topography are generally like those of islands on its side of Scotland. Traditionally the whiskies were aged at the distilleries near the coast and like many of the Islay and some other island whiskies Glen Scotia absorbs much marine character. I sampled a 1992 cask-strength Glen Scotia at a Toronto restaurant that specialises in malts and was wowed by this whisky. (I did not get a clear view of the bottle but it appeared a distillery, not merchant's, offering). It had a soft toffee-like overlay which must be from a sherry cask and I would guess Oloroso. Under that was rich distillery-character with in turn a salty, fresh, briny mantling. The drink was at once stimulating, refreshing, and satisfying (I took it after a long walk in our winder cold). Sometimes you taste something and it has the stamp, "Amongst Scotland's Best". It isn't THE best whisky in Scotland, there are too many contenders to confer that honour here, but it is tops in its class. Probably 60 years ago many of the Campbelltowns that still existed (now as I say they are down to two only) were much like this except some probably were quite peated. While Islay's Laphroig has marine and peat notes, Campbelltown whisky probably had its own circle of differing tastes due to the peninsular microclimate and possibly certain shared production techniques. Glen Scotia, especially at full barrel strength, shows one set of these characteristics today to perfection.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 01-22-2006 at 09:10.

 

 

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