Last year's festival bottle opened up nicely after about six months with a level three fingers down below the neck. It's really lush and creamy now with a wonderful oceanic nose and palate.
Yes, this one is sharper and more severe now, but I wonder how time will tell. My favorite is the rum casks festival release from 2019 (when there actually WAS a festival) and I'm not usually a rum wood fan. I like good rum, for sure, but not so much as casks to age whisky. Still, that bottling was the exception. It wasn't overtly complex but man it was satisfying. This one has potential.
I'm a bigger proponent of Glen Scotia these days with limited release Springbanks being so hard to get. Necessity is the mother of invention. Also, I think Glen Scotias are getting better. It's no secret that a significant percentage of Springbanks from 2010-2014 were better than today. I would say often times the opposite is true for Glen Scotia. IMO, Whiskybase ratings have yet to catch up with that trend in Campeltown.
Nose: Lots of berry notes but they are hard to nail down. I'm going with raspberry swirl vanilla ice cream, sea salt, sharper cherry note, stewed orchard fruits with molasses and turbinado sugar sprinkles, lemon rind, wet sand, baked cobbler.
Palate: Lemon pledge, cherry chapstick, used garage rags, Silly Putty, Vaseline, wet concrete, spicy oak, whining red wine sitting up and begging for attention, leather bound books, musty library, sea breeze, calcium scent of a dried sand dollar.
Finish: Medium in length, tangy (sharp, puckery) raspberry, sea spray, vanilla pod, spicy oak (cinnamon).
How is such young oak so expressive? That's what I'd like to know. It doesn't taste old but at ten years it's amazing that is plays the role it does. Could there be some older whisky in the batch?
Note to self: find another oaky ten year old Campbeltown malt for purposes of comparison. Water smooths out the tang, but is that a good thing? A little water, yes, but not too much. The alcoholic bite all but disappears with half a teaspoon in a goodly sized dram.
My 87 rating reflects the benefits of a little water and also the recognition that this dram needs air. I gave mine a good fifteen minutes before even sniffing it. Patience is not only a virtue, it is the sign of an experienced whisky drinker. I'm going to speculate that not all people who have reviewed this whisky have used time as an ally instead of an adversary.
I'm all for a 15 year Glen Scotia festival release in 2022! This said, I'm afraid there might not be a festival, even after all we've gone through missing two in a row. With this possibility in mind, it's worth asking if the cart was put before the horse in regard to lockdowns (were they planned years ago when the virus was still in development, or, put more simply, were lockdowns the reason the virus was developed in the first place). We can cry all we want about missing our festivals but our ancestors who braved far worse conditions (than a virus that kills less than one percent of those who catch it) would find our blind trust of fallacies of authority to be more than a little naive. And let's not even get started on the "vaccines" which aren't vaccines a'tall but rather rewriters of ancient tried 'n true DNA. I, for one, will be hesitant to gather in a tight room full of vaccinated people, or a car. They've been pumped full of more than gullibility, unfortunately. As for them not trusting me, a man who has abstained from being a guinea pig pin cushion for experimental tech that killed pretty much every test animal given the mRNA-based SARS "vaccine" over a decade ago . . . well, I couldn't care a wit. I'm quite confident in my decision and I do not trust the confidence men and women with fancy degrees who work for giant corporations that benefit financially from greazing up the populous with their special sauces.
This ten year release seems quite nice for a ten year to me. It's surprisingly complex. Frankly, with a whisky ten years old or younger, sherry wood can add complexity. This said, for 2022's "Festival" bottling, I would very much prefer a 15 year old aged in good ole fashioned bourbon wood with some peat smoked whisky in the batch. And if there is not enough 15 year to spare (and label it a 15 year) then add some mid teens whisky anyhow, along with some young (10 years or older). And let Glen Scotia distillery leak out how they've done that. Old and young marriages can be magnificent. Just ask my lovely young wife (or better yet ask lucky me).
Here's an idea if 2022's festival is curtailed by a government-enforced quarantine of the healthy: encourage Glen Scotia fans to make videos of themselves enjoying a tasting with friends in a small group. Put Youtube links to them up on the Glen Scotia website and then offer a prize for the most entertaining video. Perhaps the prize might be a bottle of an older Glen Scotia (the 18 OB) for everyone in the winning vid.