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Glen Scotia Victoriana Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
94.5 points from Jim Murray and awarded the World's Best No Age Statement Whisky for 2022.
The winners are in from the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Over two weeks, seventy judges from around the world evaluated over 5000 spirits with around seventy Scotch whiskies scoring Double Gold. Thirteen whiskies advanced to the various “sweeps” elimination rounds. One of them was this. It's not the first time significant praise has been lavished on Glen Scotia's 'Victoriana'. The cask strength limited release also captured the judge's attention at the 2017 World Whisky Awards, describing it as "An incredible whisky, packed with complexity." Finished in 'deep charred oak', the latest batch has arrived with a further endorsement from Jim Murray. We have just secured a small volume for Glen Scotia chasers in Australia. Created in the vein of Scotch whisky during the mid-to-late 19th century – the reign of Queen Victoria, hence the name - Victoriana is initially matured in ex-bourbon casks, after which 30% sees a secondary spell in first-fill Pedro Ximénez (sweet) Sherry casks and 70% is finished in new heavily charred American oak. The new batch weighs in at 54.2% and is non chill filtered for maximum mouthfeel. Going by our tasting of an earlier release, this should be nothing short of a flavour extravaganza.
Other reviews... n23.5 this has come out as gung-ho crushed hazelnut and barley. The subtlest hint of smoke makes you do a nasal double-take: is it there or not? It is...; t24 a fizzing display of ultra-lively, salivating tannins - a malt revelling in some sublime American oak. And if that isn't juicy enough, the barley pitches in to up the salivation score even further; f23 an elegant climb down. Drier, a little spice but some sexy cocoa notes moving towards praline; b24 as cheerfully bright and breezy a malt as you are likely to find and one bursting with deceptive complexity. If this is trying to depict your average bottle of whisky from Victorian Campbeltown, then it has failed miserably: it was never this good...! 54.2% Alc./Vol. 94.5 points - Jim Murrays Whisky Bible 2022
[51.5% batch tasted] Gleaming polished copper appearance. Momentarily off-key followed by sultry aromas of toasted fruit-bread, pineapple pudding and deep vanillas. Five minutes exposure emphasises dark chocolate and roasted nuts amid flashes of sappy oak and trace sulphur. Exceptional balance. Full bodied yet perfectly rounded. Mid palate is toffee-dense, malt-rich becoming tantalizingly oily / buttery towards the finish. Honey oatmeal, vanilla fudge and resiny oak to close with a wound up, mouth coating stewed fruit / vanilla / creme-caramel and pepper finale. Ends medium long with the honeyed-fruitiness lingering. One for the end of the night. Non chill filtered. 95 points
[51.5% batch tasted] ...The most expensive of Glen Scotia’s new trio has been finished in deeply-charred barrels and bottled non-chill filtered at cask strength. Soft and sweet on the nose, with peaches, fudge, and a hint of oak. Full-bodied and slightly oily on the palate, with wood spices, vanilla, and blackberries. Smoky ginger and lively char in the lengthy finish. 87 points - Gavin Smith (Fall 2015), whiskyadvocate.com
Double Gold - San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017
Best Campbeltown Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards 2017.
After a period of closure in the mid 1980s Glen Scotia reopened towards the end of that decade. The distillery has always offered two styles of whisky - peated and non peated. Typically the latter is produced for about six weeks annually. Since 1999 it was distilling for only a few weeks of the year, thanks to the team at Springbank. Activity has been stepped up since 2007 with Malt Master, John Paterson at the helm. With just over a kilometre between them, speculation as to whether Glen Scotia will be the next Springbank is inevitable. Given the distillery's versatility and quality of output, the potential is there, but it probably won't balloon anytime soon (then again, just a few years ago many seasoned whisky lovers were oblivious to Springbank...) Place your bets. Right now, here's another perfect excuse to get better acquainted with Glen Scotia.