splashing glen scotia whisky in wooden barrel

Glen Scotia Scotch Whisky: Liquor Steeped in Tradition

A notable distillery located in Campbeltown, Scotland, Glen Scotia distillery produces single malt Scotch whisky. The distillery has been operating for over one hundred and eighty years, and it has a formidable presence in the world of Scotch whisky.

In this article, we will be giving you a rundown of Glen Scotia, including the taste of this whisky, the type of Glen Scotia varieties available, and the history of the distinctive Glen Scotia distillery.

Glen Scotia: An Introduction

Glen Scotia refers to the single malt Scotch whiskies produced by the Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown, Scotland. Campbeltown is the smallest of the five whisky-producing regions in Scotland, and the Glen Scotia distillery has been in operation since 1832.

While there were once more than twenty whisky distilleries in this region, only three remain, with Glen Scotia being one of the most notable. The other whisky distilleries in the Campbeltown region include Springbank and Glengyle.

Glen Scotia Scotch whisky is perceived as a classic drink, and the flavor profiles of the single malt Scotch whiskies produced by the distillery vary based on aging and other factors. Many individuals prefer to drink their Glen Scotia neat or on the rocks, though it can be blended into a cocktail that features Scotch whisky if you choose.

You can recognize Glen Scotia whisky by the distinctive labels on the bottles and the rich array of amber colors this liquor comes in.

What Is the Alcohol Content of Glen Scotia?

The alcoholic content of Glen Scotia is fairly high, though this does match general expectations of a Scotch whisky. Therefore, it's similar to other whiskey options including High West whiskey.

Depending on the variation of Glen Scotia whisky you are drinking, you may find your bottle has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 40%, 46%, 48%, or 54%. You can check the label on the bottle of Glen Scotia whisky you are interested in for further details on the ABV.

What Is the History of Glen Scotia?

Founded in 1832 in Campbeltown, Glen Scotia has a notable history and has achieved significant pedigree after being one of only three remaining distilleries in this region.

Formerly known simply as ‘Scotia’ and founded by Stewart & Galbraith and Company, the distillery ran for around 60 years before being purchased by Duncan MacCallum in 1891. MacCallum constructed malting floors for the distillery, which remain in place to this day.

In 1933 the Bloch Brothers purchased the distillery and continued operating it, though there was a break in production from around 1942 to early 1945 due to the Second World War. In subsequent years, the Glen Scotia distillery passed through several different hands, being purchased by Hiram Walker and Sons of Dumbarton in 1954, A. Gilles in 1955, and then Amalgamated Distilled Products (ADP) in 1970 as it was merged with three other companies.

Around 1987, a buyout of part of Amalgamated Distilled Product led to Ian Lockwood acquiring the Glen Scotia distillery and the distillery separating from the ADP company.

In 2014, the Loch Lomond Group purchased the Glen Scotia distillery and invested in growing this brand into the notoriety that we see today. Distillery tours and tastings are now offered to visitors to the area, and many individuals enjoy seeing the interior of the distillery, where most equipment and the design date back to the opening of the distillery in 1832.

Only eight employees work in the Glen Scotia distillery today, and the distillery is very much perceived as a staple in the community. With recent updates, visitors and lovers of Scotch single malt whisky flock to the area to take advantage of tours and tastings in addition to purchasing their favorite bottles of whisky straight from the source.

Where Is Glen Scotia From?

Glen Scotia has always been produced in Scotland, as it is a Scotch malt whisky. It has been made in the same distillery in Campbeltown, Scotland for the past one hundred and eighty years with no signs of stopping, and the brand and its notoriety in the world of Scotch whiskies only continues to grow.

When Was Glen Scotia Created?

Glen Scotia was first developed in 1832, and the area of Campbeltown was often referred to as the Victorian Whisky Capital of the world. One of only three remaining distilleries in the area from a peak of 21 in the 1800s, Glen Scotia has survived the test of time with its timeless single malt Scotch whisky.

What Types of Glen Scotia Are There?

While there may have been more variation around the founding of Glen Scotia whisky, today there are five core single malt Scotch whisky expressions produced by the distillery.

Types of Glen Scotia include:

  • Double cask
  • 15 year old
  • Victoriana
  • 18 year old
  • 25 year old

These expressions have a range of ABV and flavor notes, while the general profile of a Glen Scotia single malt Scotch whisky includes a hint of smokiness, undertones of toffee, and maritime influences.

Additionally, each type of Glen Scotia around today has been expertly designed and curated to stay true to the original ‘malt style’ of Campbeltown. Occasionally, the distillery produces special bottlings for certain events, local celebrations, or as part of the yearly Campbeltown Malt Whisky Festival.

What Ingredients Are in Glen Scotia?

Glen Scotia distillery produces Scotch whiskies that feature unpeated, medium peated, and heavily peated malt barley. This barley is then put through the milling and mashing process, subsequently combined with water from the nearby Crosshill Loch. After the fermentation and distilling process, different varieties of finishing casks are used to give Glen Scotia its distinctive flavor profiles.

The main variations of Glen Scotia will feature similar starting ingredients, with the difference in the flavor profiles being made by the age of the whisky and the type of finishing cask the whisky is aged in.

How Much Does Glen Scotia Usually Cost?

The price of Glen Scotia Scotch whisky does vary a bit depending on the age of your chosen whisky and whether or not it is a special release or limited edition. On average, you can expect to pay between $74.99 and $549.99 for a bottle of Glen Scotia, depending on the variety. More aged and limited edition bottles are more expensive.

At a restaurant or bar, you can expect to pay the standard price of a top-shelf shot of liquor in your area. However, this does vary by location and establishment, so consult prices in your area for more specifics.

What Is the Best Way to Enjoy Glen Scotia?

Glen Scotia single malt Scotch whisky is best enjoyed the same way you enjoy any other whisky (or whiskey) – many individuals enjoy sipping Glen Scotia neat, over ice, or with a drop of water to open up the flavors.

Glen Scotia isn’t typically blended into cocktails, though it can be mixed into drinks that require Scotch whisky as a main component. If you are interested in a simple mixer for your Glen Scotia, popular options include ginger beer, cola, soda water, and lemonade or sweet and sour mix.

In general, you should be serving your Glen Scotia at room temperature in a lowball glass. You can place an ice cube in the glass if you wish, and you may want to use a cocktail glass if you plan on blending your Glen Scotia Scotch whisky into a cocktail.

Glen Scotia can be enjoyed by itself as a before or after-dinner drink, or you can enjoy it alongside cheese and meat boards. Fresh fruit, chocolate, and dried fruits all offer unique combinations to your Scotch whisky and tend to bring out the hidden flavors and undertones in your glass of Glen Scotia.

If you are serving Glen Scotia alongside a formal dinner, smoked meats or hearty meats such as lamb and beef pair well with this liquor, along with dark chocolate desserts. Surprisingly, sashimi-style fish and oysters also make good pairings for Scotch whisky.

How to Choose a Good Glen Scotia

Choosing a good Glen Scotia for your needs depends on your personal preferences and how you wish to serve your Glen Scotia. You may also want to take into account your budget, as some bottles and limited edition releases of Glen Scotia Scotch whisky can be on the pricier side.

In general, you can pay close attention to the labeling on your bottle of Glen Scotia to determine if it is the right choice for you. The label will detail the age and ABV of the whisky, and it may include details about flavor notes and the maturation process of your liquor.

Scotch whiskies that are aged longer are generally considered more complex in terms of flavor profile, and you may be able to detect additional notes in your Glen Scotia if you pick one aged more than ten years. You can also make your choice of Glen Scotia based on expected flavor notes and how strong the overall flavor is anticipated to be.

Where Can You Find Glen Scotia?

Glen Scotia can be found throughout the United States, and you may be able to purchase it at local liquor stores or bars and restaurants that carry a wide variety of Scotch whisky.

This brand may not be the most commonplace for many chain restaurants, but it is well known as a more upscale Scotch whisky brand, and it can be found in more artisanal establishments. You might also be able to purchase your favorite Glen Scotia bottles online or directly from the distiller’s website.

What Are Popular Alternatives to Glen Scotia?

If you can’t get your hands on a bottle of Glen Scotia, or if you are interested in Scotch whiskies with a similar flavor profile, there are some alternatives to this product. The best alternatives to Glen Scotia come from the other two distilleries locations in the Campbeltown area – Springbank and Glengyle.

Because these distilleries share a location and generally adhere to the Campbeltown malt style process, the Scotch whiskies that are produced may have similar flavor profiles with malt, toffee, and maritime influences. However, different manufacturing procedures, aging lengths, and finishing casks will lend themselves to a variety of new flavors.

Bottles of Scotch whisky that come from these two distilleries and are popular alternatives to Glen Scotia include:

  • Hazelburn Single Malt
  • Longrow Single Malt
  • Springbank Single Malt
  • Kilkerran Single Malt

If you are looking for an alternative Scotch whisky that is produced outside of the Campbelltown area, you may want to try one of the other more popular brands in the United States, such as Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Dewars, and Johnnie Walker.

Glen Scotia FAQs

Glen Scotia, like many other Scotch whiskies, may raise a few questions as you start to think about adding these liquors to your collection. We answer some frequently asked questions about Glen Scotia below to give you more clarification.

What Is the Maritime Influence on Glen Scotia Scotch Whisky?

Though it might sound strange, a maritime influence in Glen Scotia Scotch whisky occurs when the liquor is aged in casks near the sea.

Salt from the ocean and high winds permeate the casks, leading to the ‘maritime influence.’ Upon tasting the Scotch whisky, you may be able to detect hints of salt, sea air, and a distinctive umami flavor.

How Do I Purchase a Special Edition Bottle of Glen Scotia?

Purchasing a special edition bottle of Glen Scotia can be a little bit difficult, especially if you are located outside of Scotland. The best way to do this is to pick up a limited edition bottling on your next trip to the distillery or check the distillery’s website to see which limited edition and special bottlings of Glen Scotia are available for shipment.

Is Glen Scotia Different From Other Scotch Whiskies?

Glen Scotia is a unique Scotch whisky in that it is produced in the region of Campbeltown, the smallest of recognized whisky-producing regions. The distillery has been in operation for almost two centuries, and the flavor profile of all Glen Scotia whiskies has the distinctive flavor assortment of the Campbeltown malt style.

Enjoy a Sip of Glen Scotia Scotch Whisky

whisky barrels in scotland by water

One of the more distinctive brands of Scotch whisky, Glen Scotia is notable for the timeless way it has produced quality whisky throughout the years. If you are interested in the unique taste of Glen Scotia, you can purchase this liquor online or at a local liquor store that imports it.

You can enjoy your Glen Scotia neat, over ice, or mixed into a cocktail that allows the distinctive flavor profile of this Scotch whisky to shine through.

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