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Glen Scotia Double Cask Campbeltown Scotch Review By In The Great Wide Thirsty Thursday Blog

Glen Scotia Double Cask Scotch Whisky


A lot of people try 1 Scotch whisky, don’t like it, and then think they don’t like scotch, but the flavor profiles vary so widely that you may find another one you enjoy! If you already love bourbon like we do, you can easily develop your palate for scotch, and this one is a good place to start.


CONTENTS



Why Scotch?

We have been whiskey drinkers for quite a long time. In fact, it’s one of the first things we bonded over when we met. We’d both had experience with Scotch whisky but really dove into it when we visited Edinburgh a few years ago, and since we both love to learn the history behind our experiences, places like the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh allowed us to appreciate the fine art of Scotch whisky to an even deeper degree.


Scots take great pride in their whisky, which is spelled without an e in Scotland and refers to scotch. There is a lot to learn about what makes scotch, scotch, so tell us in the comments in the bottom of this article if you’d like us to write another article so you can learn more!


Pro Tip: Using the term “scotch” in Scotland will make it obvious you are a tourist. Scots simply call it “whisky”.



Where Glen Scotia Double Cask is Made

There are five regions of Scotch whisky producers, all in Scotland, each with their own unique flavor profiles:

  • Lowlands in the south - this is where Edinburgh and Glasgow are

  • Highlands in the north

  • Speyside - a carved-out section in the HIghlands

  • Islay - an island off the western coast of Scotland

  • Campbeltown - on the Kintyre peninsula on the western coast of Scotland

Glen Scotia is made in the Campbeltown region (known as ‘Wee Toon’ by locals because it’s a small town), which used to house upwards of 30 distilleries during the Victorian age. It now only houses 3 distilleries: Springbank, Glengyre, and Glen Scotia. Springbank just happens to make my favorite whisky, Hazelburn, as I discovered during our trip to Scotland. Some friends gifted us the Glen Scotia Double Cask, so this is our first time trying it (see the video above). Although Campbeltown is home to just under 5,000 people, they make some of the best and most palatable Scotch whiskies in Scotland.


Scotch Whisky Regions Of Scotland Map
Drawn by User: Briangotts CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2498675

Glen Scotia Double Cask Taste

Campbeltown whiskies, and this Glen Scotia Double Cask in particular, are great for first time Scotch whisky drinkers. The reason it’s called ‘Double Cask’ is because, like all other Scotch whiskies (as mandated by the government), it is matured for a minimum of three years in oak barrels, but this one is then finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry wine casks for 9-12 months, meaning it is aged in 2 separate casks.


Pedro Ximenez is a type of white Spanish sherry grape that creates an intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry. Aging the whisky in barrels previously used to make the sherry gives the Glen Scotia Double Cask a dark amber color and a sweeter finish than most other Scotch whiskies, making it a great entry-level whisky if you’re used to American whiskies like bourbon. In fact, the first maturation process for the Double Cask is in first-fill American oak barrels that were used previously for bourbon. The oak barrels soak up the flavor of the bourbon and gently flavor the Scotch whisky inside of it.


According to the distillery, Glen Scotia Double Cask boasts a flavor of “rich spicy fruits, sea spray, and sweet vanilla oak”, and they’re not wrong. The subtle saltiness was a nice surprise to balance out the sweetness from the sherry cask finish, but it also has a much stronger alcohol kick than we were expecting. With an ABV of 46%, the flavor profile almost hides the alcohol, but it’s still definitely there, to remind you that yes, you are drinking a Scotch whisky.


We were also surprised that there is a bit of smokiness to the Double Cask, most likely imparted from the bourbon oak barrels, because it is what’s called a “young” whisky. Most Scotch whiskies are aged far past the mandatory 3 years - that’s what the numbers on most bottles mean (10 = aged 10 years, and so on). The Glen Scotia Double Cask is only aged the minimum 3 years in the oak barrels before being finished for up to 1 more year in the sherry casks. For how young the whisky is, it packs a lot of flavor.


Scotland Campbeltown Waterfront Village With Boats In The Great Wide Travel Blog
Photo by Charlie Marshall, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Where To Find Glen Scotia Double Cask & Cost

We live in California, where you can find Glen Scotia Double Cask at Total Wine & More for a cool $55. It isn’t the easiest to find, as Glen Scotia is one of the smallest Scotch whisky distilleries, so they are limited to the amount of whisky they can bottle each year. We recommend befriending an employee at your local liquor store to get the inside scoop on when new shipments come in to ensure picking up a bottle.


The other option is to purchase a bottle straight from the Glen Scotia website for $75. If you’re in the UK, shipping will be free, but if you’re in the U.S. like us, you’ll have to pay for shipping (due to it coming from across the pond), which is a $15 flat-rate for those of us in California. You should also make sure that you can legally ship alcohol to your state or country.


Glen Scotia Double Cask Scotch From Campbeltown Review By In The Great Wide Travel Blog Thirsty Thursday

Our Verdict

The Glen Scotia Double Cask is smooth, slightly smoky, and very tasty. It’s a great first-time Scotch whisky for any American palate used to bourbon. We’re very pleased that this bottle was gifted to us (thank you Jess & George!), and look forward to enjoying a Glencairn glass while the weather cools down.


Quick Reference Guide

What

Taste

Slightly sweet, smoky, and salty with a kick from the high ABV

ABV

46%

Made In

Campbeltown, Scotland

Buy It At

Total Wine & More or order directly from the distillery

Cost

$55 at Total Wine & More, $75 from the distillery (plus shipping)

Our Verdict

Scotch whiskies are excellent for those colder months, as it warms you from the inside. It’s smooth, salty, and slightly smoky with an excellent finish. Great for first-time Scotch whisky drinkers!


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Whiskey Lovers Reviewing Scotches In The Great Wide Thirsty Thursdays

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In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Phoebe and Adam at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

We’re Phoebe & Adam
the couple behind
In The Great Wide!

This is our travel lifestyle blog where we not only share stories from our adventures while traveling the world, but also our thorough research of the places we visit & practical advice on how to save money so you can travel more too!

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