Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020 – whisky review

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020

Until recently, everyone could attend the Campbeltown Malts Festival (in May, each year), at which distilleries from this region present new editions of their whiskies, bottled especially for this occasion. This year (2020) for obvious reasons, the festival couldn’t take place, however, those special editions of Campbelltown whiskies were available for the consumers. Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020 is one of them.

Pictures: Ryszard Walus

It’s a peated edition, aged in first-fill bourbon barrels, American oak casks and finished in tawny port casks (which I enjoy much more than „ruby port”). Tawny Port age in smaller casks than ruby, which affects the more pronounced influence of wood on the wine maturing in it.

To be honest, port aged whiskies are definitely not my favorite. I noticed, that they are often tart and lacking in depth. In my opinion, ex-bourbon barrel aged malts are the most underrated.

Now I wonder what effect the combination of all those barrels with the peated distillate from Glen Scotia will bring. And when we add that the whole has been bottled at the cask strength, the heart begins to beat faster.

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020

Tawny Port Finish

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Region: Campbeltown

Aged 14 years


Cask strength: 52.8%

Un-chill filtered

Aged in ex-bourbon barrels, American Oak casks, finished in tawny port Casks

Color: gold – copper, natural, no artificial coloring

Nose: dry. Cranberry, chokeberry, wood, cocoa, smoke, grapes, maple syrup, milk chocolate, vanilla pudding with cherry juice. Over time, the aroma becomes more and more sweet. There are toffee accents, peaches in syrup, marzipan, white chocolate. Alcohol is perfectly hidden. 21.5/25

Palate: That’s what I call the Campbelltown whisky! The sweetness of port wood is nicely combined with a large amount of peat smoke and a pleasant distillate. Cherries in liqueur, dried plums, ripe peaches, apricot kernels, hazelnuts, walnuts, high quality dark chocolate, coconut, caramel, rosemary. We’ve got a great Campbelltown malt there, ladies and gentlemen! 22/25

Finish: long and intense. Smoke, caramel, port, cocoa, candied cherries, Nutella, sponge cake drizzled with Amaretto. Fantastic. 22/25

Balance: at the beginning I haven’t discovered the potential of this whisky. Shortly after pouring it into the glass it was simply dry and a bit smoky. However, it began to open quite quickly, and after a few minutes it’s been a Showtime of various types of taste-impressions. From dry, through very sweet, to slightly bitter and strongly peated flavors. I love it! 22/25

Overall: 87.5 / 100


Today’s malt is an extremely successful edition. Soon other editions of Glen Scotia are going to appear on the blog. However, I’m not so sure if each of them will receive such a high rating as this one.

Other opinions

whiskybase: 87.45/100 based on 112 votes

Price: at the distillery in May 2020 – £75. You can also get it from the online shops at similar prices.

About other malts aged in port casks, I can recommend Glenmorangie 12 The Quinta Ruban, or Kavalan Concertmaster Port Cask Finish. However, The GlenDronach 10 Port Wood is an example of totally wasted potential. I didn’t enjoy it at all.

I would highly recommend today’s star of the evening 😉

More photos here

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