Strathisla 1989-2011 Scott’s Selection

Strathisla 1989 Scott

Distillery: Strathisla

Expression: 1989

Age Statement: None official, but judging by distillation year and bottling year either 21 or 22 years old

Vol: 56,5%

Extra info: Bottled by Scott’s Selection

When I picture a distillery in my mind, I usually think of Strathisla. This picturesque distillery in Keith, in the Speyside region of Scotland, is everything you would expect a distillery to be. With its two pagoda roofs, the watermill in front of it, the well kept lawn and the charming visitor’s centre, I believe this is the prettiest distillery in all the land. And hey, they make some good whisky too! Strathisla produces mostly for the Chivas Regal blends and apart from the 12-year old, not much in the way of single malt is released. However, they do occasionally sell some of their spirit to independent bottlers, and today I’ll be looking at one of those by Scott’s Selection. This has been bottled at cask strength and is, for as far as I can see, the only Strathisla bottling released by this independent.

Nose: Refreshing; lemon, orange zest, apple and mint. Light cinnamon and a hint of pepper. A slight waxy note, cacao powder and something in the way of cereal. Cookie dough.

Taste: Quite thick, oily. Sharp pepper and oak notes, followed by a malty kick. The oak really adds a firm bitterness and I find it difficult to find fruit. Eventually maybe some lemon, apple and perhaps peach.

Finish: The bitter note leads in a lengthy finish. Mostly oak, cereal and cookies. The waxy note returns modestly and brings along some light fruit.

Overall: Quite a hefty dram, sharper and heavier than I would have expected from the nose. Some decent complexity but very spicy on the first sip and not quite enough sweetness for my taste.

3½ stars (81-85 range)

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