Whisky Advocate

Review: Duncan Taylor NC2 Glen Scotia 1981 Vintage

July 29th, 2010

Duncan Taylor NC2 (distilled at Glen Scotia), 1981 vintage, 18 year old, 46%, $114
Glen Scotia has always been the bridesmaid to Springbank. This is justifiable, considering that both production and availability of quality bottlings have been sporadic over the past decade or so. I like this one. It really shows the simple, coastal pleasantness of this Campbeltown distillery. Ripe  malty notes are accompanied by brine, cut hay, banana cream pie and honeyed vanilla. Lingering salty, malty finish. With all the sherried and wine-finished Springbanks recently on the market (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with it), here’s a nice, no-frills, Campbeltown whisky.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 87

12 Responses to “Review: Duncan Taylor NC2 Glen Scotia 1981 Vintage”

  1. Sokojoe says:

    The trend of good but not excellent continues, here’s the last line of the past five reviews:

    “here’s a nice, no-frills, Campbeltown whisky.”
    “A gentle introduction to single malts for the blended scotch drinker.”
    “A pleasant, entry level Irish single malt.”
    “A pleasant, easy-going, seamless dram—and perhaps the most approachable Glenrothes whisky.”
    “A nice whisky to introduce blend drinkers to the world of single malts.”

  2. Alex Cranstoun says:

    Simple and no frills…for $114. Think I’d buy a Springbank 10 and a Talisker 10 with that $.

    • B.J. Reed says:

      This raises a good point – If the price point is high for an “80s” ranked whisky do you just buy more of one you like better (E.G. Springbank 10 YO) or do you expand your collection so you can taste greater variety of “good but not great” whiskies?

      • John Hansell says:

        To me, variety IS the spice of life, so I would rather keep trying different whiskies. But I would rather just pay for a dram first than risk buying the whole bottle.

        • Alex says:

          I agree John – I go out of my way to sample as many new whiskies as possible and I also really enjoy Signatory’s offerings. The only Scotias I’ve sampled were largely uninspiring for me, despite my admiration for Springbank. Perhaps another try is warranted…but the cost still gets me.

  3. Red_Arremer says:

    Whenever a new ‘Scotia hits the market, I’m intrigued. Back in the day, a 14 yo from G&M was my first 100$ bottle and my first c/s s/c whisky– An eccentric, briny, chocolaty whisky, which I later realized must have sat in a pretty flawed sherry butt, it opened my eyes to how wide and wild the variation between scotches could be.

    Given the paucity and spottiness of Scotia’s releases, I hope Boston sees some bottles of this. And John, you’re not the only one who feels that way about bourbon casked Cambeltown– it’s refreshing in more ways than one. Many of us would like to see a lot more of it.

  4. Texas says:

    Well as I have said ad infinitum here…the last 2 years the Springbank 10 has just been fabulous. I had the fino sherry finish and it was good but I prefer the 10 by far. I would really like to see a mainly or solely bourbon cask Springbank at 15 or 18.

    I have been wanting to try a Glen Scotia, but they are never seen in these parts.

  5. Louis says:

    It seems that this review is a validation of the ‘Plenty of good new whiskies, but where are the great ones?’ blog entry.

  6. mongo says:

    if great things came around every month or even every year they might begin to look a little dull? i think we may be at risk of over-inflating our grade expectations.

  7. Steffen Bräuner says:

    Well, going back many years only the great whisky will be remembered but the average will most likely not be the ones that is staying solid in your memory

    I’ve been to a bar that had the shelfs filled with 1990’s bottlings, mainly standards 12yo’ish bottlings and in this field I wouldn’t say the quality has declined. More the opposite


  8. Red_Arremer says:

    Man– A really solid bourbon cask Glen Scotia– 87 points for a Glen Scotia?!

    And everyone’s frame of reference is that it’s another in a line of non-mindblowing whiskies. C’mon. How many really solid bottlings has anyone here ever had from this idiosyncratic distillery– one, maybe two. Shift your perspective and maybe you’ll see this as a pleasant surprise rather than more of the same.

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