Monday 25 April 2022

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022 Limited Edition - 8yo Peated PX

OK hands up - yes I'm a Glen Scotia Fanboy. I've been to the distillery more times than you've had hot dinners, I've bought cases of every release they've ever bottled and love everything that comes put of the distillery*

*Some of these comments might be false...

To be totally honest I've not liked all of the limited editions that they've released recently: the Sherry Double just didn't work for me, it had lost it's Glen Scotia DNA;  the Rum cask from 2018 was a little too sweet. But all of our palates and likes are different! So apart from them two the others have been great - the 14yo Tawny Port from 2020 sits on a pedestal all by itself, but as I said I'm a Fanboy so biased!

This year's Campbeltown Malts Festival Limited Edition is an 8yo Peated PX, some of you may have tried the Callandar Single Cask #19/380-9? That was a 12yo bottling with 10% Medium Peated whisky with a 2 year PX finish. The Festival is a 8yo, much peatier but with a shorter 1 year PX finish.

The box, like the other Festival Releases, features a great drawing of the whiskiest place in the world - Campbeltown.

Michael Henry, Glen Scotia & Loch Lomond's Master Blender, gave me some background information:
"The liquid itself is 8yo from 2013 mostly HP some MP, I thought a little sweeter peat would tone into the PX so its about 80/20, all 1st fill bourbon. The finish was 12 months in PX so there is a big hit of treacle and spice on it - I wanted to see how a big finish went with the peated. 
The balance between the sweetness of the PX and the smoke and salinity of the spirit was what we were looking for. After 8 months in PX I was tasting every four weeks until we hit the right note.
The 8yo age gives it that big distillery character with 12 months in PX to give some sweetness to balance the smoke and salinity. I kept a close eye on the PX towards the end as always want that Glen Scotia distillery character to be the star!"

Iain McAlister, Glen Scotia's Master Distiller, describes it as:
"Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival Limited Edition release, classic 2013 HP FF Bourbon matured - from the early days of this peating level finished in FF PX Hogsheads… Light peat smoke - Coal tar, subtle treacle, background dates, hemp, sultanas all encompassing coastal oils and of course sodium! 
A lot of regionality, well balanced maritime influences with that typical long fermentation flavour profile."

Distillery info:
This year’s release is a heavy peated spirit distilled in 2013 and matured for seven and a half years in 100% first fill bourbon barrels, before a twelve-month finish in the finest first fill Pedro Ximenez hogsheads. 
24,000 bottles - Cask Strength 56.5% ABV - Non Chill Filtered - Natural Colour
Nose : Glen Scotia’s signature sea spray can be detected on the nose, with a gentle smoke reminiscent of a fading bonfire on a Campbeltown beach. 
Palate : Runny treacle, rich spices and an underlying peat influence come together in harmonious celebration. 
Finish A true taste of Campbeltown, there is a touch of salinity and maritime nuances throughout.
So let's see what it's like:

My thoughts:

: Dark gold in the glass, swirls cling as a thin line, bead up slowly to form small beads which falls as slow thin oily legs.
Nose: Huge salinity to start with - salt and seaweed notes. There's some toffee, tropical fruit and a little citrus. Little in the way of smoke - it's very faint. After a few sips of the liquid, the smoke comes through more on the nose - interesting.
Palate: Thick syrupy arrival - loads of chewy salted caramel and dried fruit: sultanas, raisins, figs, dates etc. There's some berries hints here too - blueberry jam? The liquid is very oily, coating the mouth with sweet brown sugar and a little honey. More tropical fruit notes appear, a little dark chocolate and some liquorice before the smoke comes in - not as thick as I'd expected for a mainly heavily peated liquid. There's a big bite of peppery spice, more salinity and a dryness as the liquid disappears. YUMMY!
Finish: Lingering sweetness, gentle smoke, drying salinity and peppery spice.
Overall: As I said at the beginning I'm a Fanboy so you can make your own mind up, this is my first but won't be my last bottle! 
Maybe the biggest surprise for me is the peat smoke - I was expecting more, it's faint on the nose, comes through on the palate and lingers on the finish, but it's the Glen Scotia DNA salinity which features most strongly in this dram. Michael and his team have taken what Iain and his team have distilled and matured in ex-bourbon in Campbeltown and re-casked it into PX casks in Alexandria (I assume). The finish hasn't taken over like I think happened with the 2020 Sherry Double Seasonal Release. The salinity, tropical fruit, smoke and PX seem in perfect balance.
There's 24,000 bottles so this isn't going to sell out in a week but at £55 a bottle I'd suggest getting a case fairly soon so you have time to buy another before it all goes!

Geeky stuff 1:

Glen Scotia have quietly introduced their new branding with this bottle:

  • the new bottle top logo has been changed colour and now matches the old bottle's embossed logo
  • around the top of the bottle "Since 1832" has been added and colour changed
  • an embossed "Since 1832" and the GS logo has been added to the neck of the bottle
  • the big embossed logo has been simplified and reduced in size, the label is now larger with an increase in font size. Estd. 1832 has changed to Since 1832.

Geeky stuff 2:

This is the 5th Campbeltown Malts festival release - you can read my thoughts on the other 4 here!

Glen Scotia - Campbeltown Malts Festival
Release Cask type ABV Age
2022 8yo Peated PX Finish 56.5% 8yo
2021 10yo  Unpeated Bordeaux Red Wine Finish 56.1% 10yo
2020 14yo Peated Tawny Port Finish 52.8% 14yo
2019 2003 Peated Rum Cask Finish 51.3% 15yo
2018 2008 Peated Ruby Port Finish 57.8% 10yo

As well as the Malts Festival bottling Glen Scotia also have a limited release Single Cask Festival Edition available only at the distillery.

Glen Scotia - Single Cask - Festival Edition
Release Cask info ABV Age
2022 No. 0072004 Refill charred American oak hogshead Cask #57, 2yr  refill Oloroso hogshead51.3%17yo
2021 No. 0062007 Bordeaux Red Wine Cask 2017/106/657.6%14yo
No. 005
2008 1st Fill Bourbon, Oloroso Finish Cask #7 53.9% 12yo
2019 No.004 2012 Lightly peated 1st Fill Bourbon Cask #082 59.5% 7yo
2018 No.003 2000 Cask #386 55.7% 17yo
2017 No.002 2001 Cask #554 57.1% 15yo
No. 001
2001 Cask #624 56.9% 9yo

1 comment:

Jeff Whisky said...

Absolutely top notch coverage of this bottle. Like you I adore and admire the Tawny Port bottle and have throughly enjoyed the 2021 one, which is lasting a bit longer.

Was very tempted before this, now going to have to fight with my wallet to get this in my basket.