Glen Scotia 1990 Gordon & MacPhail

Glen Scotia 1990 G&M

There were some requests awhile ago. One was for more from Gordon & MacPhail, and the other was for more Cambeltons. Cambelton isn’t exactly the easiest to get your hands on. I’ve done Springbank 10 a long time ago, and I have some Springbank 12 Cask Strength waiting for me, but as I said before, I’ve been out at my favourite pub, so I let my wife decide.

Note to self: My wife picks very pricey drams, and I need to watch out for that next time, as when I ordered this one, the bartender asked me if it was my birthday, due to the price.

Regardless of price (I can eat salad for lunch and cut back on sweets), Glen Scotia 1990 Gordon & MacPhail was my second dram for this trip to The Feather’s Pub. Didn’t know how I was going to react to this. I’ve heard some mixed things on Gordon & MacPhail, and I still haven’t had enough Cambelton’s to really decide if the region is for me.

Glen Scotia is both one of the smallest distilleries (3 employees) and one of the most efficient (150,000 litres per year). I’ve tasted the 8 year in the past, and it was okay. I don’t really remember being blown away, however you really gotta try something before judging it.

Price: N/A – A dram cost be $20 (CAD), however I think I’ve found some stores in Germany have it for $60 (CAD).

Region: Cambelton

Abv: 40%

Colour: Bronze

Nose: Ham dinner, sour eggs, electrical short

Very simple nose. It smells like sulfur, an electrical short, and a Christmas Ham dinner. There’s nothing else to this. Had to even check with others to ensure that the lights weren’t flickering or I wasn’t hallucinating randomly or perhaps going on a spirit quest randomly (some day).

The sour eggs part isn’t sulfur. It’s like if you mixed an egg smell and oranges. And yes, I realize that doesn’t make sense, but that was the best I can explain it. I’m on my spirit quest, dammit!

Taste: Butter, ham, cloves, currants, chili powder, sour cherries, macadamia nuts

Very buttery, and the ham/cloves flavour keeps up from the nose. That being said, this sour cherry/currant/fruit death medicine flavour wasn’t that great and takes right over. You want something else, or you want that initial ham/butter flavour back, and it’s just not doing it for me anymore. I want more butter and ham from before, dammit!

Finish: More cloves, sand, dry, plum, little smoke, fermented cranberry, pine bark, sour lemon, burnt molasses

Short finish on this one, which is a reprieve. It’s burnt, oily, and sour fruit. And then it’s on fire, but not in that “Awesome campfire Laphroaig way”, in that “oh shit, I burnt my fruit cake” kinda way. And sour. Paired well with a bread pudding though, so I’ll give it back some marks for that.

Conclusion: It’s hard to comment on this one. When you’re ordering something that costs $20 a dram, you want something spectacular. And yet you shouldn’t judge something on the price, and I try not to. There’s a Two-Face factor on this one. I love the butter and ham smells and flavours. And while alone the finish wasn’t great, it pairs well with dessert. On the other hand, it’s sour as hell, and almost tastes like stale red wine at times. Not vinegar sour red wine. Almost mulled wine? But like Mulled Wine made by someone who made it the first time and didn’t add cinnamon.

I’m confused. Not going to order it again, however I’ll be trying some of the Glen Scotia’s made by themselves, and even going to be trying other Gordon & MacPhail to see if this one just was hurt by the low Abv.


Scotch review #44, Campbeltown review #2, Whisky Network review #62

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