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Strathmill is a bit of a hit & miss whisky for me. The 10 Year Old by Chieftain’s was a let down, while the 37 year Old by Archives was great (except for the price). Strathmill, which means mill in the broad valley, is a typical blenders whisky, almost impossible to find as a single malt, at least officially. It goes into the blends J&B and Dunhill. This 21 Year Old was bottled by the German Anan na h-Alba.
The nose if very fruity, but also dusty. Lime and dried pineapple up front with a basket full of nuts in the background. Primarily cashew, but also pistachio. Mildly spiced on pepper and cinnamon. Silver polish. Some dried flowers too. Potpourri. Not bad at all. Adding water makes it wonderfully sweet and fresh.
On the palate, though, it goes downhill very fast. A tremendous bitterness and way too many spices (ginger, pepper) overpower the fruit immediately. This is just too feisty. Let me add water. Yes, much better. Sweeter, softer and not so bitter anymore. At least not so much that it becomes an off note.
The medium long finish is spicy and fruity, but still rather bitter.
Without water, I find it hard to appreciate, but luckily it is a swimmer. So add a spoonful of water. The bitterness does cost this one a great amount of point (on the nose alone, this is easily worth 5 points more). Available in Belgium at Dram 242 for 76 EUR.