Glen Scotia Victoriana Single Malt Review

I’ve just realized this is the first Campbeltown whisky I’ve reviewed here on the blog.  Well, glad I’ve corrected that!

Glen Scotia is one of three active distilleries in Campbeltown.  It’s been around since 1832,and finally making its official debut in the United States.  The distillery, owned by the Loch Lomond Group, puts out three regular bottlings: a Double Cask, 15 year old, and the subject of this post: Victoriana.  This single malt is supposed to replicate a style of whiskies from the Victorian era, hence the name.  It’s non-chill filtered, bottled at a hearty 51.5% abv, and runs $110 a bottle.  The whisky is finished in charred oak casks, supposedly giving it a smooth & smoky quality.  

The nose features burnt sugar, varnish, fresh orchard fruits, wood fire, with hints of vanilla and spice.  Taste-wise, though it has some fruity and sweet elements, the whisky comes across slightly savory.  Vanilla extract, polished wood, baked apples, hay, and spice are the most prevalent flavors.  There’s a slight smokiness on the back end, but comes across as more bitter barrel char than peat.  It’s not off putting, and adds a touch more complexity.  A drop of water brings about some candied lemon peel.  Nice.  The medium-length finish is bittersweet, and leaves behind a softly smoked malt note.

I like Glen Scotia Victoriana, though my criticism would be the charred oak barrel finish.  It gives this whisky a slightly bitter/savory quality overall.  Though it makes for a unique experience, I’d love to see this whisky finished in a wine cask or not finished at all.  But, I can only judge what’s in the bottle, and what’s in the bottle is quite enjoyable.  Nicely done.  8/10

Thanks to the Loch Lomond Group for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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