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A Strathisla Lament for Glory


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Hello, that is one in all our (virtually) every day tastings. Santé!



December 17, 2021


I simply stumbled upon some outdated Strathislas whereas searching for Strathmills. No, actually. I discover it scandalous that no correct Strathisla’s reached the doorstep of Château Whiskyfun since… round 1885? I imply, who’s heard of Strathisla just lately? The oldest Highland Distillery? Or is that this notion exaggerated? In any case, I could not depart WF Strathisla-less for extra months/years/a long time, so let’s simply dig deeper into the outdated stash… (*)


Strathisla 1987/2006 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, distillery label)

Strathisla 1987/2006 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, distillery label) Two stars

From the great outdated days of low strengths and assumed caramel and cold-filtration… Now why G&M have typically used this label as a substitute of the luxurious basic white one, I do not know.  Color: gentle gold. Nostril: gentle it’s. Very gentle, with certainly touches of caramel and toasted brioche, a drop of stout, vanilla, crystallised apples (slices), apple icewine, chamomile, a bit of white wine (common chardo)… However boy does it whisper low. Mouth: not likely. Notes of burnt sugar, marmalade, rancio, apple juice… It’s a little flattish, would I say. End: quick. A bit of cardboard however good truffles too. Feedback: not such a complete catastrophe, however a lot for the great outdated days. Not the primary time I am making an attempt this gentle one ‘informally’, I am undecided it ever satisfied anybody. It is ‘an okay drink’.

SGP:331 – 76 factors.

Strathisla 8 yo (100 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, distillery label, 75cl, +/-1980)

Strathisla 8 yo (100 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, distillery label, 75cl, +/-1980) Four stars and a half

There are numerous 8s, that is the one with a ‘inexperienced 8’, at 100 proof/57% vol. I’ve acquired rather more religion on this one, I do not know why… Color: white wine. Nostril: oh, wonderful sucrosity, you are virtually nosing some muscovado sugar from an outdated tin field. Iron, lemon juice, chenin blanc, outdated instruments, sugarcane syrup (large notes), correct all-honey nougat, white bananas, blancmange… Wow, that is clearly ‘totally different’, some form of malt whisky made within the Caribbean. With water: sunflower oil, inexperienced bananas, peanut butter, extra blancmange… This may make us all communicate Creole! Mouth (neat): superior tight lemony and sugary profile. Sugary in a great way, it is all cane sugar. Some ongoing stress on this one, that is somewhat spectacular and really ‘un-modern’. With water: grapefruits, inexperienced bananas, kumquats, barley, mead, nut oils. Luggage of contemporary nuts. End: lengthy, extra lemony, zesty and but fats. Ginger tonic. Feedback: now we’re speaking.

SGP:561 – 89 factors.

G&M, the ground remains to be yours…

Strathisla 15 yo (57%, Gordon & MacPhail, distillery label, 75cl, +/-1988)

Strathisla 15 yo (57%, Gordon & MacPhail, distillery label, 75cl, +/-1988) Five stars

Unsure it is good that we have to unearth our relics to maintain our Strathisla part alive, however there, whereas we’re at it… (responsibility, heavy responsibility)… Color: full gold. Nostril: this one’s acquired a deserved excessive fame as a form of ‘Macallan killer’. In actual fact, it’s splendidly thick, wealthy, advanced, and simply unquestionably ‘great-Macallan-y’. Cuban cigars, quinces, bouillons, ointments, cough syrup, chestnut honey, Maggi, Bovril, praline, outdated Sauternes, pine smoke, shoe polish, black nougat, olives, liquorice… That is only a whirlwind of aromas, and the sherry is not even heavy. Now there’s increasingly shoe polish as time goes by, which isn’t obligatorily a superb signal. With water: nah, we’re advantageous, there’s certainly extra shoe polish and Barbour grease, but additionally chestnut purée and umeshu. Plus these notes of nice rhum agricole, some having been seen within the 8. Mouth (neat): wonderful, extra on marmalade and tight, resinous liqueurs. Tends to chew your tongue, I’d say let’s advert water instantly. With water: yeah, as anticipated, that is excellent. Peaches stewed in mint and honey sauce, fir liqueur, verbena, and an avalanche of small herbs, flowers and nutty components. Equivalent to, nicely, nuts. End: lengthy. Feedback: I’d suspect the 8 and this 15 had been distilled throughout the similar season. Only a wild, wild guess. Unimaginable whiskies: G&M, is there extra in wooden?

SGP:562 – 91 factors.

Let’s depart Elgin (with tears in our eyes) and search doom and homicide…

Strathisla 13 yo 1981/1995 (63%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, sherrywood)

Strathisla 13 yo 1981/1995 (63%, Cadenhead, Genuine Assortment, sherrywood) Five stars

Sure, homicide, did you see this energy? Ah, these ‘small cream labels’… Color: white wine. Nostril: kerosene. I’d guess Bezos’s ridiculous penis ‘rocket’ used to odor like this. And whey, pisco, inexperienced bananas, white beer, white cachaça, simply lower grass… All somewhat uncooked stuff, and but there is a feeling of unity and tightness. And peace. No, actually. However sherrywood? With water: all oils you may consider, plus antiseptics and inexperienced apples and pears. Philosophical whisky (no worries, I will not quote Sartre once more). Mouth (neat): lemon juice and acetone, ethanol, paint thinner, antifreeze and powerful glue. In different phrases, water’s greater than welcome. With water: wonders. Ueber-tense lime and grass juices, distilled garden, chalk, paraffin. Unsweetened holly and sorb eaux-de-vie spring to my thoughts, or maybe checkerberry… Mad stuff certainly, stuff for distillers. End: lengthy, so sturdy, so elemental, so slender, so exact, so hazardous. Feedback: philosophical whisky for PhDs solely.

SGP:371 – 90 factors.

Maybe a gentler, older indy Strath’ earlier than we name this a tasting session…

Strathisla 30 yo 1976 (48.4%, Whisky-Fässle, sherry, +/-2016)

Strathisla 30 yo 1976 (48.4%, Whisky-Fässle, sherry, +/-2016) Four stars

We love geese, both as foie gras or on Whisky-Fässle’s labels. Color: gold. Nostril: yeah there, we’re reminded of different distilleries in the identical classic, Benriach, Caperdonich… Beautiful notes of pollen and nectar, beeswax, candy cider, good orange wine (some are crap, some are nice), mirabelle jam, quince jelly… Quinces really are inclined to take over, which is excellent information in my guide. I might kill for quinces, the king of fruit. What durian? Are ye joking? Mouth: ah, no, it is a tight and somewhat resinous one, harder than anticipated, virtually a bit of brutal, with wooden varnish and ultra-dry cider. I believe we’ll add a drop of water… With water: again to mead and honeys, so success however reasonably. End: somewhat lengthy, somewhat on cider once more. Not a lot of a honeyed frenzy. Feedback: a really pretty drop, with a really fabtastic nostril and a palate which will have gotten a bit of too dry and grassy and peely.

SGP: – 87 factors.

A message to the world (and to Pernod): “ship new Strathislas!”

(Gracias Konstantin, Tim and Christin)

(*) Oh nicely, not lengthy after I had finished this session, fairly a couple of weeks in the past, Angus despatched me notes for some Strathislas after which this new Stathisla reached WF’s doorstep, fairly serendipously….

Strathisla 13 yo 2004/2021 (56.9%, La Distillerie Générale, France, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #47932, 35cl, 1296 bottles)

Strathisla 13 yo 2004/2021 (56.9%, La Distillerie Générale, France, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #47932, 35cl, 1296 bottles) Four stars and a half

56.9%, that is precisely 100 proof, am I not proper? A semi-official bottling bearing a really hippy-glam Goa-style label. Carry your sitar! Color: deep gold. Nostril: you’d virtually consider that is some Ténarèze at cask energy. Certainly, armagnac. Some form of earthy raisins with fairly some menthol, camphor and polish at first, then preserved peaches, fruitcake and a few pancake sauce. Maybe a notch heady this far however I might say the standard of this armagnac, I am sorry, of this Strathisla is excessive. With water: bread pudding, a meaty contact (foie gras, actually!) and a few pipe tobacco. I like this one actually rather a lot. Mouth (neat): creamy, wealthy, and really old-school sherry, within the model of the older Macs C/S or of a few of G&M’s personal C/S Strathislas. Masses and a great deal of raisins, dried figs, prunes, Jaffa truffles and walnut wine, which might carry some pretty bitterness to the combo. With water: extra Jaffa truffles, oranges, marmalade, comfortable pepper… It acquired a tad tighter, which is working completely nicely. End: lengthy, somewhat on gingerbread this time. Raisins maintain singing within the aftertaste, along with a bit of liquorice. Feedback: excellent. A couple of years in glass will push it in direction of 90 or extra. I believe I will now play that fab older LP by Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass…

SGP:661 – 89 factors.









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