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Strathisla is one of the oldest distilleries in the Highlands and has been continuously in production since 1786. The distillery had switched names multiple times in its early days, but in 1951 she regained her original name. Literally meaning "Valley of the river Isla".
The company changed the packaging some time ago. The box in British racing green was replaced by a stylish white box. The bottle has seen a radical metamorphosis. The color can now be fully appreciated in a clear glass bottle.
I sampled the old duty free 1 liter version.
Color: The 12 year old Strathisla matures partly in ex-bourbon casks and partly in ex-sherry casks. Old gold. Alas, the colour is artificially created with caramel colorant.
Nose: The nose is very subtle. Barley and cane sugar nicely summarize the essence. There are also notes of honey and vanilla.
Taste: It is deliciously creamy on the tongue. Home made vanilla ice cream with dash of caramel sauce. Further up are fresh coconut and apricots. With a very small splash of water I'm getting some white pepper and the slightest hint of smoke.
Finish: short and crispy with vanilla and white pepper.
Conclusion: This Strathisla is a soft all-rounder and can easily compete with a 12 year old Glenfiddich. The mainly sweet flavours make it ideal company for desserts or coffee.
You won't find it everywhere. Specialised liquor shops or tax-free shops are your best shot. Sells for approximately € 35.