Infinity Gauntlet and Glen Scotia Victoriana

  • The Whiskey: Glen Scotia – Victoriana
  • Cask Type: Finished in heavily charred Oak casks.
  • Strength: 54.2% alc./vol.

Each cask is chosen for its rare character and exceptional maturity. Finished in deep charred oak, the result is an exceptionally smooth single malt whisky whose aroma and flavour work in harmony. Bottled in the traditional way, straight from the cask and without filtration, its subtle wood and vanilla flavour is enhanced by a full- bodied spicy fruit aroma and mildly smoky aftertaste.

  • The Comic: Infinity Gauntlet
  • Marvel Comics
  • Author: Jim Starling
  • Artist: George Perez (1-3) Ron Lim (4-6)(pencils), Josef Rubinstein with Tom Chrisopher (inkers), Jack Morelli (letters), Max Scheele with Ian Laughlin (colourist)

The Mad Titan Thanos has seized control of Infinity Gauntlet and with it, near-omnipotent power! Who can stop this deadly new overlord? All of Marvel’s top heroes star in this epic of cosmic proportions!

The Infinity Gauntlet #1 Cover image

When we think of Thanos, two words come to mind,  Power and Balance. Even those that haven’t read The Infinity Gauntlet, and only know Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, know that Thanos is one of the most powerful beings to ever exist, and that his quest to destroy 50% of all life across the Universe comes from a desire to bring balance.

It was with these two words in mind that we chose the non-chill filtered, full cask strength (a whopping 54.2%) Victoriana from the Glen Scotia Distillery (Campbeltown) as the perfect dram to sip while reading Jim Starlin’s 1991 masterpiece, The Infinity Gauntlet.

The Whiskey: Glen Scotia Victoriana

The Glen Scotia Distillery was founded in 1832 and is located in Campbeltown, on the Kintyre peninsula on the west coast of Scotland.  Campbeltown is known as one of the 5 Whisky producing regions, and probably the last one mentioned by most Whisky drinkers. At one point, Campbeltown had over 30 active distilleries and claimed to be the “Whisky capital of the world”, however, now there are only 3 left: Glengyle, Springbank and (in my opinion) one of the top producers in all of Scotland, Glen Scotia.  

I remember the first time I tried a whisky from Glen Scotia (and Campbeltown in general) vividly.  I was on a trip to Scotland with my wife, and our first day was spent in Edinburgh. She being the amazingly supportive and fun loving woman that she is, made it a point to spend that first jet lagged afternoon at The Scotch Whisky Experience, to see the world’s largest private collection of single malts (4,000 bottles on display), and do some tastings.  It was during this tasting that our guide took us through the 5 Whisky regions and I had my first taste of a Campbeltown malt, the Glen Scotia Doublecask.

At this time in my life, I was mainly a drinker of all things Islay.  Tell me something smells, or tastes like a campfire and you have my full attention (Stories of our trip to Islay will come up in future articles), but when I picked up and smelled a Campbeltown for the first time, a sense of excitement crept over me, similar to the feeling of anticipation you get on a first date.  The sweet vanilla and fruit tastes warmed me immediately, but it was the notes of fresh sea spray and salt that transported me to this quaint coastal town and I could picture myself overlooking the water enjoying more of this immensely rich and delicious whisky.  I purchased a bottle of the Double Cask that day, and have since purchased their 15yr old, 16 yr old, and was gifted a bottle of today’s feature, and the perfect pairing for Thanos, the full cask strength Victoriana.

Look at this beautiful bottle!

Glen Scotia Victoriana Tasting Notes

At an impressive 54.2% ABV, this whisky doesn’t hold back and packs a powerful punch, but is so well balanced and complex that it doesn’t overpower your nose or palate.  The initial smell of brine and salty sea air quickly fades into warm, toasted oak and vanilla.  Crème Brulee and caramelized fruits like pears come out the more time you spend smelling this whisky, but the scent of sea air is always lingering, giving this whisky the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

The initial sip is intense, and you can feel the full cask strength.  The alcohol burn and salty brine taste fades quickly into the toasted oak and vanilla notes from the nose.  There are also notes of warm fruits, and jams, making this a very well balanced and intriguing whiskey, which seems to change slightly with every sip. The most intriguing and best part of this whisky is the finish. As the warm vanilla, and sweet fruits taste fades, an incredibly rich smoke flavour fades in.  It doesn’t come anywhere close to what you get from an Islay malt, and does not overpower your palate.  It is almost eerie how it comes in as you would never expect this to have any smoke flavour from the nose.  The best way that I can describe this, and one of the reasons this whisky pairs so well with this story is the scene at the end of Avengers Infinity War, when Thanos snaps his fingers, and half of our heroes slowly, and out of nowhere fade into ash.

As perfect as Victoriana pairs with the film, we are all about the comic books here at The Whisk(e)y Geeks so let’s dive into this seminal piece of art whose story inspired 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The Comic: The Infinity Gauntlet

Written by Jim Starlin, and published from July to December 1991, The Infinity Gauntlet opens with Thanos (already in possession of the 6 Infinity Gems) seeking the love and affection of Mistress Death, who resurrected and tasked him with correcting the imbalance in the Universe. If you would like to find out how he collected the gems, you can read the 2 issue mini-series ‘Thanos Quest’, but it is not required to follow the story.

After fulfilling his duty and killing half of the Universe by simply snapping his fingers, Thanos realizes that he is the most powerful being in the Universe, and Mistress Death no longer sees him as an equal, and will not return his affections.  This enrages Thanos, who attempts to make Mistress Death jealous by creating a mate Terraxia.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the Silver Surfer arrives and explains to the remaining heroes who is responsible for the disappearances, and that it was not just Earth, but a cosmic genocide. What’s left of Earth’s forces join together and plan an attack on Thanos under the leadership of Adam Warlock, who previously defeated him before his resurrection.

The story is the epitome of epic.  Not only does Thanos battle with the heroes of Earth, but he also faces all of the great Cosmic entities, including Eternity, Gallactus, Lord Chaos, Master Order and the Celestials.

A story this big requires artwork that hits the same level of epicness, and the team of George Perez (issues 1-3, and part of issue 4) and Ron Lim (issues 4-6) delivered that, and then some.  In my mind this is George Perez at the pinnacle of his 40+ year career (I give this book the slight edge over DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths). I might be in the minority if you were to look up other lists ranking his work, but one thing that is for certain, if there were a mount rushmore of Comic Book artists, George Perez would be in the running.

The Infinity Gauntlet is a must read for all fans of superhero stories, and Glen Scotia’s Victoriana is a must have for any Whisky drinker, and the best way to describe the experience of enjoying these two together is to quote the Mad Titan himself “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.” – Thanos 

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