- Brand: Strathclyde
- ABV: 45%
- Batch: 4
Here we have yet another That Boutique-y Whisky Company bottling, a 31 year old grain from Strathclyde. The last time I tasted Strathclyde was seven years ago, a 23yo bottled by SMWS that was rich and meaty - I loved it and scored it a 92. I also compared it to an old bottling of Royal Salute 21yo and was able to pick out the grain notes in that blend, which was really fun.
The artwork on TBWC Strathclydes is a complicated diagram of the chemical process of wood extraction on spirit that would make Don Livermore cream his jeans.
The colour is pale straw (at 31 years, those must have been some well-used casks!) The nose has a very Canadian profile (a bit like the Black Velvet 1980s bottling I tried last night): buttered popcorn, nougat, white pepper and vanilla beans. Candied peanuts. Lemon meringue. Three drops of water and it becomes quite floral. I have a feeling this one is going to taste pretty sweet.
And it certainly does: more buttered popcorn, lemon drops and grapefruit. Very citrusy. Water (three drops!) brings on some heat and an even creamier mouthfeel than it already had. Enjoyable but a bit too sweet for me, and not nearly as complex as the nose.
The medium-length finish is very lemony, with some chili heat and toasty oak. The hot spice notes are a nice respite from the almost cloyingly sweet nature of this one, but for me it doesn't really work, and lacks the meaty character of Strathclyde that I've noticed before. Similar to the last time I tasted this distillery, I've got a dram of Royal Salute 21 (newer bottling) to put next to it. Of course, you can't really compare a grain with a blend, and indeed it turned out to be fruitless, as the RS21 has a richness that the Strathclyde is sorely lacking, and I'm not seeing any real points of comparison.