Bishlouk, whom we met the other day, has scheduled a distillery tour of Glen Scotia. Seeing as we arrived too late for that on Wednesday, this is a good catch-up session. JS and I join Bishlouk for the grand tour, then. MS had other plans for the day.
It appears the guide is not there, following a mix-up in times -- they expected us at 15:00, we expected they would be there at 13:00. Two other tourists are keen too, so they are willing to accommodate us all. And since the guide is not here, we will take the tour with Iain McAllister, the distillery manager.
The few things of interest I note out of the tour are:
-The barley is always Scottish; mostly Concerto, sometimes Optic
-It is malted by Glen Esk Maltings
-Glen Scotia produces non-peated spirit 11 months a year and peaty spirit one month per year
-The malt mill was made by Robert Boby Ltd. in the 1840s. The company suffered the same fate as Porteus and Vickers
-Cast-iron mash tun
-A wash consists of four waters -- 66°, 72°, 85°, 85°
-Distiller's yeast, M strain
-Fermentation lasts 7--8 hours
-Glen Scotia mashes 5d/week and distills 6d/week
-Six stainless steel washbacks, installed ca. 2011
-The computer is only used for the washback self-cleaning
-Flat Lyne arm
-Coal-fired stills were transformed into indirect-heated stills in the late-1950s, or early 1960s
-Average strength after second distillation is 69.4%
The mash tun is interesting in that I had never seem a cast-iron tun before, yet this is the second in Campbeltown.
|The mash tun|
|Not sure one should trust a man who wears two watches|
The tour ends in a warehouse, where we will try samples straight from the cask.
Glen Scotia d.2001 (ca 58%, Cask Sample, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, C#560): nose: warm toffee, vanilla, almost new leather soles. Mouth: slightly salty, with worm-eaten wood and cork. Finish: warm toffee, sticky toffee pudding -- or do I have bits of last night's dessert stuck between my teeth? ;-) 7/10
Glen Scotia d.1989 (ca 56%, Cask Sample, Refill Oloroso Sherry Hogshead, C#316): nose: leather, fox skin, a whiff of smoke and old furniture. Mouth: round and fruity, with soft prunes, dates, figs. It feels a lot less strong the previous one. Finish: long, warming, with game casserole in a wine sauce, with a smokiness to it, and precious wood. The nose has notes that do not quite work for me, but it is nice, overall. 7/10
|Serious valinch action|
during this trip
At the end of it, I pull out my bottle of Glen Scotia 17yo (40%, OB, L4/332/97 402) out of my bag and share it with everyone. Iain is pleased: he has never seen that bottle before. I am excited to empty it in the very place it was made and matured. So much so, that I do not take notes.
Good little tour, well recommended.