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To be honest, I do not have that much experience with Strathmill. This is only my 9th. Mackillop’s Choice is a series by Angus Dundie, a blender from London that also owns the Tomintoul and Glencadam distilleries. Lorne Mackillop is their master blender and he selects the casks that are released under this label. This is a cask strength 23 Year Old Strathmill from 1976, bottled way back in 1999 already.
The nose is light and very clean, but a bit weird. The sweetness is unnatural. A bit sour too. It is hard to pin a fruit on it, unless maybe some pear and unripe pineapple. I am also reminded of cooked vegetables. Carrots and potatoes. Weird, no? Halfway through some oat appears. All of it very light and it does not improve with water.
The arrival is alcoholic and peppery. Mint makes it fresh. Now I do get some fruit on the palate, mostly lemon, zest included. The pears return, joined by apples. There is a nice bit of woodsmoke there. Midpalate it becomes honeysweet with a truckload of honey and vanilla. Diluted it turns a bit bitter and emphasizes the chemical sweetness.
The finish is not short, but not long either. The mint has the final word.
Not a grand Strathmill, if you ask me. And whatever you do, do not add water!