The nose immediately presents a clear nuttiness, popcorn and roasted almonds. There is also Earl Gray Tea and orange marmalade. There's nothing you'd expect from NAS, no pear, no metal, no yeast. That could be something. Fruit comes, the fruit is ripe and has sweetness with sufficient fruit acidity, wood without bitterness comes. And there comes a moment when you start to wonder if the whisky has peat. If it's the burnt out barrels, it's smoke - not shure. But it's Campbeltown! It is the brackish water in the harbor with oil floating on it and musty driftwood with algae. But that's delicious, because the warm popcorn and the orange marmalade are on top of everything.
The whisky is cask strength - with other NAS this leads to burning notes. The alcohol doesn't bother here, it carries the aromas and is well integrated. I despise NAS whiskys - not this one! It has power and fruit, but the fruit is not unripe. There's sweet plum must thickened with enough acidity. There are also warm fruit scones with clotted cream and strawberry and because we are not in Cornwall but in Kintyre, some seaweed slipped into the jam and it burned a bit. Then another sip of Earl Gray – delicious! I would say it is unpeated and the smoky notes come from the barrel char.
It remains exactly the barrel char with a fruity-nutty component. The Whisky doesn't disappear meaninglessly like other NAS. There's a staunch sailor in Campbeltown harbor who you want to drink with but not fight.
Wow, Glen Scotia has progressed so well in recent years that it's almost impossible to write about it. Actually nobody should know that. But this is a NAS that takes the butter off the bread for many Springbanks. It has the Campbeltown funk we're looking for, it has fruit and depth, it has complexity. This is a wonderful whisky! Do I have a new favorite distillery?