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Strathisla, the oldest distillery in Northern Scotland, was founded in 1786 under the name of Milltown, soon to be changed to Milton; its current name has been in use since 1870. Today Strathisla is owned by Chivas Bros, subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, and serves as the public figurehead for the Chivas Regal and Royal Salute blends. The supply of Strathisla single malt has been limited, here we got an excellent release from Wm Cadenhead & Co, the oldest Scottish Independent Bottler (established in 1842 and currently owned by J&A Mitchell of Springbank fame). The whisky distilled in 1997 was aged for 18 years to be bottled without chill-filtration and at natural strength of 56.9% abv. (Producer’s tasting notes).
Nose: red fruits with some soft herbs and quite minty, turning to miso soup with chocolate brownies and cherry tones bring in those sweet red fruits one more time.
Palate: oily and syrupy to start and then gingerbread with butter and hints of cooking apples, is this a bake off challenge in a bottle? If so then I am having another try. A second time with this dram gets us to a sublime creamy fruity note, Some delicate spice comes out with the addition of a few drops of water or if left to open for 10-20 minutes then it’s a lot more fruity.
Finish: Soft oakiness with a touch of spice, hint of pepper and soft brown sugar keep that confectionary taste we had in the middle palate. This dram is a firm favorite during the tasting sessions it's used on coming in at No 1 or 2 in the Speyside & Highland section.