Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022: Glen Scotia

Though the Glen Scotia Dinner preceded by the Cadenhead’s Club Tasting [WLP] occurs the night before [and the Springbank Society Tasting before that], Glen Scotia Day [now] officially kicks off the Campbeltown Malts Festival. Now a four day affair, when it all started out, I’m told it was just the one day at Springbank.

Quieter than in other years, it’s always a good day out with a bar where you can [pay to] ‘try before you buy’ the distillery’s core range, exclusives, and festival bottlings. There’s local honey too, but more on that later.

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The highlight of the day in 2022 is the North Star Spirits stand.

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Iain Croucher & co. are here to promote their proposed new distillery in Campbeltown, Dal Riata – further reading: scottishfield.co.uk. They [NNS] are also generously free-pouring from a large selection of malts from their ever-increasing range.

I hear rumblings of an excellent 14yo Inchfad and ask Iain about it. Incredibly, he remembers me from an online zoom tasting a few years back because of my energy – nodding, smiling, engaging etc. It appears the Inchfad may have disappeared so I’m offered a 13yo Croftengea instead.

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[Loch Lomond] Croftengea 2007/2021 13yo NNS Cask Series #014 [255 bts] 49.5% WB87.04[52] NNS

  • C: Vanilla-ey, crisp citrus fruitiness on the nose. Same again on the palate, a sweetish before sour summery yet austere dram.

Scores 85 points

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The Inchfad reappears and I get the last of it!

[Loch Lomond] Inchfad 2007/2021 14yo NNS Cask Series #016 [234 bts] 49% WB87.50[14] NNS

  • N: People’s emotional [facial] reactions to this one are priceless and tell a story better than a shopping list ever can. In the absence of photographic evidence, words-wise, this is a funky vinegary pickled [in a good way] styled malt, those pickles moving towards slithers of kippers, and so on and so forth.
  • T: All sorts, cows to factories,… the middle section offers a conveyor belt of action.
  • F: Long adventurous grimy industrial finish,.. cigarette ash,…
  • C: Crazy & fabulous, but it won’t be for everyone. One dram, very occasionally, would be enough.

Scores 88 points

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Next up, a youngun’ from sister company South Star Spirits.

Islay 2014/2021 07yo SSS Islay Series #002 for Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022 Port Octave [60 bts] 49.5% WB0

  • C: Crisp succinct delicious. Buy!!

[Not scored]

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While relaxing on the grass bank with a dram, I spot an old friend with a new friend. We reflect on the Canadian situation where there is an additional tax of 150% on the 10-litre [13 bottles] maximum allowance – bottles already paid for! For Canadians purchasing whisky abroad, there’s more to take into account than just the initial rrp. One option is to fly back to Alberta – currently Canada’s lowest tax Provence – and travel the rest by land [depending on where in Canada you are. By contrast, as an English citizen, I simply have to consider whether the 18yo Glen Scotia Festival Bottling at £195 [WB] is too much. In my book, it is, and by some way given the standard 18yo is around £80:

Glen Scotia 18yo [2022] Ob. 46% WB85.15[334] WF74 WLP187

For those who think I over-write [which I definitely do], try this for size:

  • C: Vegetal petrol vanilla spice = nice.

Scores 86 points

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For those on a budget, there’s a far more affordable and [24000 bottles] available 8yo festival release, which we can try [for £5].

Glen Scotia 2013/2022 08yo Ob. Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022 [24000 bts] 56.5% WB87.32[274]

  • N: Providing a fruit & veg stock juiciness with a Weetabix-y base, all the basic elements are respectfully managed. A very neat product overall.
  • T: Juicy fruit & veg stock arrival once again, clean overall with just a little GS funk/greasy-waxiness. Oozes more with water.
  • F: Carries on through with a juicy [Kilkerran-esque] peatiness.
  • C: Competitively priced quality young single malt [around £45 from memory].

Scores 87 [drunk outside] points

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There are rather a lot of bees flying around [me] and now I see why. I’m surrounded by bee hives in the form of whisky casks as homes.

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Someone, I think Yourk?, passes me this:

[St. George’s] English Whisky Co. 2010 08yo Cadenhead’s Bourbon Hogshead 64.9% [20cl] [WB]87.44[20]

  • C: Much like Cadenhead’s [amazing] 5yo Brazilian single malt I experienced the day before [WLP], this one doesn’t fit comfortably into an obvious [Southern] Islay distilleries box either. That could mean this may not be from Islay,… or even Scottish. Easily one of the best English [Whisky Co.] single malts I’ve had.

Scores 87 points

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Staying with English whisky, Luke & co. [who I shall spend much of my time with during the week], passes me a yet-to-be-released single malt [prototype?] from Acton, West London.

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Bimber Ex-Bourbon [2022] Un-Ob. [tba Batch #04] abv unknown

  • C: Daftmill-like in its fruitiness, a very impressive +/-4yo.

[Provisionally] scores +/-85 points

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More? There’s always more. Whisky, beer, and friendships.

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Off to the Fiddlers Inn we go!! Tomorrow, it’s Springbank!

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2 thoughts on “Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022: Glen Scotia

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