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Strathisla 12 Year Old (flat bottle)

Time to Open Up...

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@Pudge72Review by @Pudge72

11th May 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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This bottle was acquired sooner than later as the LCBO in Ontario has now marked this as 'discontinued' in its' inventory offerings. The distillery itself is slightly mysterious, in part due to the lack of a website to promote itself. Also it is slightly contradictory, advertising as a "pure Highland malt", but being located in Speyside.

Among tidbits of information gleaned from research of other sites includes the fact that it is the oldest distillery in northern Scotland, dating back to 1786. Additionally, this distilleries' offerings form the basis of Chivas Regal, as the distillery is owned by Chivas brothers.

Without further ado on to the tasting notes, formed over several tastings in a copita glass, without handwarming...

Nose - Floral, fragrant, sweet with notes of slightly ripe banana and pear. Overall very pleasant as the sweeter notes are balanced with a pinch of clove and cinammon, as well as an underlying oak presence. The clove/cinammon was more present with the addition of several drops of water, which were added as previous samplings had a bit of a closed off feeling to them.

Palate - slightly full, but overall light mouthfeel.

Taste - light peat and salt, slightly sweet and grassy. Some honey and pear were noted. The sweet and light notes transferred well from nose to mouth. A closed off sensation permeates for me throughout multiple tastings. I may be missing something, but I am left with feeling that all the notes are present for a wonderful presentation, but for some reason, they just do not assemble fully for the final performance.

Finish - A slightly full mouth feel is created, which transfers to a cinnamon/spice finish that lingers, moreso when water is added. A very slight burn in the mouth and throat, which disipates after a couple of sips, leaves a very smooth throat feel. The pear note carries through, in varying degrees, from nose, to mouth, to finish.

Overall, this dram has many positive elements, but ultimately I am left feeling that this dram never fully opens up. Promise for something great seems to be left lingering in the glass...

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lucadanna1985 commented

I quite agree with your review! I would add that the oakiness in my bottle was slightly owerpowering the other flavours at the beginning...now, after several months, the oak seems to have left some space for the vanilla and the spices, with also a little (but very very little) peat...I'm not a big fan, but I saw this in a local store for 19 euro, what else could I do???

9 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

@lucadanna1985...as I have sampled this over the subsequent months, the initial impressions for me have stuck, though I do appreciate the potential for this bottle. The price is not bad in Ontario either (not as good as your deal though!), and I can well see this being offered to someone who would like a Speysider with more intensity/complexity than the standard 'gateway' offerings of Glenlivet 12 or Glenfiddich 12. For my personal preferences however, I just can't quite put this into my 'will think of buying again' category.

9 years ago 0

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