Amber. Very fine, reddish tinge. Then the scent from the nosing glass wafts towards me. Dirty, impure, so the very first associations. Is it sulfur or a tannic note from the Tawny barrels? Sulfur in such a festival bottling? Hardly likely. On the other hand, the smoke is barely noticeable - what phenol content does GS still use? In the air, the somewhat dirty impression quickly diminishes. Freshly uncorked bottles are always such a thing. Then comes a berry sweetness. Red currant juice - but for children's taste, mixed with plenty of sugar.
The alcohol is very well integrated, I notice very positive in view of the barrel strength. The malt looks round and ripe, not as youthfully impetuous as the powerful Ruby Port, but not quite as elegant as the Rum Wood last year. The character somewhere in the (golden) middle. Very pleasant mouthfeel, slight tingling on the tip of the tongue. A clean, fresh and quite fruity malt with a balanced, nutty port sweetness, without great sperenzien, which is wonderful to drink. Nuances of spices that I associate most with pastries. A hint of cinnamon, a little green cardamom, that describes the direction. Amazingly 'light' body, which I note in the overall view as extremely positive. You like to take a second sip on the sunny terrace, almost too much.
FINISH / CONCLUSION
In the finish, which is very warm, velvety and sweet, the great hour of phenols strikes. The wood becomes palpable - noble bitterness struggles in a balanced struggle with fruit sweetness and the smoky peat influences. Towards the end the tawny then becomes wonderfully chalky, slightly grassy and a little dry. To see none of the perfume-like off-notes that sometimes plague Glen Scotia bottlings. Iain McAlister and the small Glen Scotia team did a good job. Glen Scotia will always be in the shadow of the spring bench icon and yet the ugly duckling under Ian has gradually become a little swan.