Limited stocks of the world-beating Glen Scotia 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be arriving in Australia in October 2021, as parent company Loch Lomond Group marks four years of exclusive distribution through Coles Liquor outlets.
Glen Scotia is one of only three remaining distilleries in the Campbeltown region of Scotland, once known as ‘The Whisky Capital of the World’ and home to more than 30 distilleries during the Victorian era.
In April 2021, its 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch was named Best Scotch and Best Whisky at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Judges praised the, “deeply rich, concentrated and elegant single malt that has matured quietly in American oak barrels for a quarter century”.
In a recent masterclass, master distiller Iain McAllister said Glen Scotia favours first fill bourbon casks as the best showcase for its robust and oily spirit, which is produced in both unpeated and lightly peated, medium and heavily peated variations.
However, the Glen Scotia 25 Year Old had the bulk of its maturation in refill bourbon casks, with 12 months’ finishing in first fill bourbon to provide complementary depth and richness.
McAllister said Campbeltown’s coastal aspect is unmistakeable in the 25YO, with the “bracing Atlantic breeze” imparting a strong maritime influence on the whisky.
Look out for Glen Scotia 25 Year Old ($499) in Vintage Cellars stores from October 2021.
Also available locally are Glen Scotia Double Cask ($80), Glen Scotia 15YO ($102) and Glen Scotia Victoriana ($130).
Loch Lomond championing ‘distillery character’
The Loch Lomond Group portfolio is led by its eponymous Highland distillery, Loch Lomond.
Loch Lomond master blender Michael Henry said the distillery’s focus switched from supporting the production of blended whiskies, to single malt, when the business changed hands in 2014.
“With the distilling setup we have, and the potential for creating flavour in the distillery itself, we really set out to establish Loch Lomond as a distillery-character-led single malt,” he said.
“When we talk about flavour creation in single malt, at Loch Lomond we’re really talking about three things; different shapes of pot stills, different ways of operating our stills and different levels of peat in the malted barley.
“We change each of these different variables to create more flavour in the spirit itself.”
Maturation is predominately in a combination of first fill ex-bourbon, refill and re-charred bourbon barrels, with refill playing a greater role in the longer-aged whiskies.
The Loch Lomond range includes Loch Lomond Original ($50), Loch Lomond 12YO ($80) and Loch Lomond 18YO ($100).
Where to buy Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond whiskies
Loch Lomond Group regional director Shaun Rankins told Drinks Adventures that sales of the Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond whiskies had grown strongly since the company entered into an exclusive partnership with Coles Liquor in October 2017.
“The great thing about the Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia stable is that there’s a whisky for everybody,” he said.
“We’re running products ranging from a $35 blend [High Commissioner] right up to luxury single malts priced in the thousands of dollars.”
Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia are sold in Australia through the three Coles Liquor banners; First Choice Liquor, Liquorland and Vintage Cellars.