Hot on the heels of (or alongside) their second Ben Nevis, Roger’s Whisky Company released an undisclosed whisky. The Campbeltown 2015 6 Years is the second addition to their Hidden Treasures series. It’s also not a single malt, although we should probably ignore that.
But indeed, the Campbeltown 2015 6 Years is a blended malt. Officially. The more suited term would be teaspooned. As in, they added a teaspoon of whisky from another distillery, in effect transforming a single malt to a blended malt, to prevent independent bottlers from mentioning the distillery’s name on the label.
It’s a practice that has been around for a while, but doesn’t make much sense to me. There’s only one theoretical situation in which I understand the need for teaspooning a cask. That would be if the distillery is utterly dissatisfied with its contents and wants to protect their brand name before discarding said cask to an unsuspecting broker. What else could be the reason?
That’s not to say that all teaspooned malts are shit casks. On the contrary actually. There have been many, many proper teaspooned whiskies over the years, not in the least this rumoured teaspooned Clynelish from North Star Spirits, as well as many Burnside (Balvenie with a few drops of Glenfiddich). So, I’ve got my hopes up for the Hidden Treasures Campbeltown 2015 6 Years from Roger’s Whisky Company.
That leaves one last question to answer. What’s in the bottle must remain a secret, says the company website. It means that Roger is not allowed to disclose the source of this cask. But then again, it’s probably not that hard to guess.
There are only three distilleries in Campbeltown – Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia. As far as I know, two of those don’t sell to brokers, let alone teaspooned casks. While I would never say that I’m 100% certain of this, it is pretty safe to assume that the Campbeltown 2015 6 Years from Roger’s Whisky Company was distilled at Glen Scotia. Or at least the large majority of it was distilled there. The remaining few drops of other whisky in there might well be from Loch Lomond, which is owned by the same parent company.
Finally, while bottled at a high strength, this whisky does not sit at cask strength. It was reduced slightly to a drinking strength of 54 percent, which is probably a smart choice.
Nose: Notes of draff and fermented mash alongside vanilla custard, lime zest, golden kiwifruit and some wet pebbles. Touches of hazelnuts and roasted almonds, as well as love hearts. Gets sweeter with time. Taste: A gentle, yet peppery arrival with plenty of vanilla extract and a little icing sugar, followed by pot ale and walnut skins. Finally some burnt toast and grassy notes. Finish: Subtle whiffs of mint, with lingering quince and grainy pears.
Not easy to pigeonhole, this Glen Scotia (an educated guess) is not the high-flyer like some of Roger's other releases, but it is quaffable and certainly not boring. The cask is not always in the driver's seat, which is a plus compared to another young Glen Scotia I've tried recently.
Sample and photos provided by Roger’s Whisky Company