Craigellachie 17 Years

 

“Hot Legs”

Whisky Review # 983

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Craigellachie
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherried Wood
Finish: 50% in First-Fill Bourbon casks and 50% in First-Fill Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 90-110 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay if you can score it at around 80 US Dollars
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Plain & too much Alcohol Burn for my liking but that's just me!

Colour: Light Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Please give this Craigellachie some time in the glass before Nosing. It opens up a bit slowly and the initial wafts of Alcohol are quite strong. As always avoid sticking your nose in the middle of your glass. The Nose is not very complicated and the Sherry cask influence is clear. As a result, Malt and loads of Dried - (Dark) Red Fruits lead the way. Some are Sweet and some slightly Sour. There's a bit of Sulphur in the air but it doesn't really bother me. All in all not bad but a bit plain.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Bread Dough, Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Apricots, Figs and Plums, Dark Red Fruit (Berries, Cherries), Slightly Sour Citrus (Orange, Mandarin, Lemon), Bounty Bars, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Mint & Cinnamon.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Wax, Green Apple, Pear, Mango, Marzipan, Nougat, Pepper, Green Herbs and hints of Meadow Flowers, Licorice, Metal coins and Glue.


Palate:

This is my first Craigellachie Distillery bottling. I had a few Indie bottles in the past but none of them were very convincing. And this official 17 years won't make me a huge fan of Craigellachie Single Malt as well. But it's strong and powerful and as such quite suitable for Blended Whisky. On the Palate the 17 years is quite a Power House with lots of Malt and Alcohol. You would expect a much higher ABV in a blind tasting. The Palate presents a mix of Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty notes and I identify the same main drivers as on the Nose. The Sulphur is more noticeable now  but it's not too bad.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dough, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots and Plums, Dark Berries and Cherries, Bitter Orange, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Butter, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Toast, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Toasted Pineapple, Gooseberry, Nuts, Herbal Tea, Dark Chocolate, Dairy, Raw Meat, Cloves, Ginger and Licorice. A hint of Leather.

Finish:

Middle-Long and a bit Hot. Sweet at First but with developing Sour and Salty notes and increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The Sulphur is a bit more noticeable now but stays within limits. I basically find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Wax, Dough, Honey, Dusty Charred Oak, Orange-flavored Bitter Chocolate, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dark Berries, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Toasted Pineapple, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Mint, Nuts, Strong Espresso and hints of Artificial Sweetener, Raw Meat, Milk and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little water and that kills most of the unwanted Alcohol Heat. On the Nose it does become Malt Juice much like Cardhu. Palate & Finish improve with the Water however so my advise is to add a little bit.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the rounded final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


Conclusion:

The Craigellachie Distillery was founded around 1890/91 and is located between Craigellachie and Aberlour in Banffshire. Since 1998 it's owned by John Dewar & Sons, part of Bacardi. The core range includes the 13, 17, 23  and 33 Years. Most of the production disappears in the Dewar's Blends. The annual production currently amounts to 4.1 million litres. During our trip to Scotland in May 2014 we passed the Distillery. Unfortunately it's not open to the public.

As said above, this was my first tasting of a Single Malt that is part of the recent core range of this Distillery. I think they are on the right track with respect to their Single Malt profile but they are not quite there yet. The Spirit is quite Powerful so it needs very precise cask- and spirit safe management to extract the best of it. This 17 Years is way too Hot and Nervous for its age in my opinion. It's not really bad but I would not buy a full bottle for the time being. 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        March 23, 2023

Compass Box Hedonism


“Crying in the Grain”


Whisky Review # 982

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Brand: Compass Box Hedonism
Type: Blended Scotch Grain Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mixed Ex-Bourbon Casks (Mostly 1st Fill)
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Jan from The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$  60-70(March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Borderline Okay
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ There might be people who love it but I'm not one of them

Colour:

Chardonnay (Natural Color)

Nose:

Light and slightly Nervous. The Alcohol is noticeable. I would suspect a mix of older and younger Grain Whisky. Sweet as expected with lots of Vanilla, Coconut, Fruit & Perfume. It's okay but you don't have to wake me up for it.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Grain, Vanilla, Coconut, Grass and Straw, Cake with Strawberries & Cream, Dough, Yeast, Floral Perfume, Green Apple, Pear, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Buttered Toast, Honey, Mandarin, Lemon, Toasted Pineapple and Banana, Herbal Tea, Raspberry Jam, Peanut Butter, Nougat, Cloves, Aniseed, Nectarine, Wet Rocks and a hint of Nail Remover.

Port Dundas

Palate:

Young and a bit Thin but surprisingly Creamy at the same time. Sweet at first but with increasing Sourness and a Bitterness I don't care for. The Alcohol remains noticeable.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Grain, Vanilla, Coconut, Dough, Grass and Straw, Charred Oak, Floral Soap, Milk - & White Chocolate, Banana Ice Cream, Pepper, Cinnamon, Licorice and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
   
Honey, Caramel, Toffee, Buttered Toast, Salted Peanuts, Sour Berries, Herbal Tea, Bitter Orange, Sugar, Wet Tobacco Leaves, Cloves, Ginger and Paint Thinner.

Finish:

Middle-Long and slightly Hot but quite Creamy at the same time. Sweet at first but with developing Bitter and Sour notes towards the Medium-Dry end. There's a bit of an Artificial Tutti-Frutti Bubble Gum feel to it and I don't particularly care for the Bitter notes here. I find Sweet Grain, Vanilla, Caramel, Buttered Toast, Coconut, Honey, Charred Oak, Banana Ice Cream, Sour Orange/Lemon, Milk Chocolate, Wet Rocks, Iron and Copper, Floral Soap, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.

Cameron Bridge

Drinking Advice:

Given the size of the sample, I only tasted the Hedonism neat.

Rating: 6  (******)

Nose: 6.5 - Taste: 6 - Finish: 6 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay at best


Conclusion:

As always, Compass Box informs us accurately about the contents of this Blended Grain Whisky. However, since I don't know what Batch I'm tasting today it's fair to say that it most likely contains Grain Whisky from Port Dundas, Cameron Bridge & perhaps North British and matured in a variety of Ex-Bourbon casks. 

In general I'm not a huge fan of Grain Whisky but I did enjoy some well matured Single Grains in the past. This Hedonism blend however does not work for me at all. The Alcohol is way too present and I simply dislike the Bitterness and the kind of Artificial Sweet Bubble-Gum taste on the Palate and in the Finish. I'm glad I had the chance to try a sample first because I don't know what I would have done with a full bottle. A present for my brother in law perhaps ๐Ÿ˜Ž! In any case I would urge you to follow my example and try a sample first.

PS: I was told that different batches can vary significantly. It's a pity I don't know the specific Batch number of the sample I reviewed today.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                         March 16, 2023

North British

Longrow 21 Years


“Dirty Dancing with Muddy Waters”


Whisky Review # 981

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Longrow
Distilled at: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottled in  2019 - 3600 Bottles - Limited Edition
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Ex-Sherry Casks (60%) and Ex-Bourbon Casks (40%)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 450-600 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Very Expensive. Should have been bottled at Cask Strength
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‹ Delicious Dirty Campbeltown for those rare occasions!

Colour: Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Lovely "Dirty" Campbeltown with a mix that includes Burnt Matches, Mud, Petrol and Sulphur. The Sulphur is okay though unless you are allergic to that stuff. Restraint Smoke and Peat that comes as a bit of a surprise. The Sherry cask influence is very clear. The Alcohol is sufficiently integrated. Mostly Sweet but with sufficient Sour, Salty and Funky notes to keep it interesting. Not your average Mainstream Malt of course but I like it despite the fact that it's a little on the Thin side.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Straw, Sour Berries like Strawberries and Red Currants, Citrus Peel (Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin), Wet Dirty Muddy Peat, Factory Smoke, Charred Oak, Dunnage Warehouse, Wet Rocks, Dark Chocolate, Burnt Matches, Leather, Pepper, Cinnamon ,Cloves and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Toffee, Resin, Tropical Fruit Mix (Banana, Mango, Nectarine), Bounty Bars, Dusty Old Books and Furniture, Mix of Dried Fruits and Nuts (Apricot, Raisin, Almond, Plum), Smoked Meat/Fish sprinkled with Herbs and Olive Oil, Forrest Floor, Nougat, Tobacco, Soot, Licorice, Aniseed, Petrol and traces of Varnish, PVC Pipes, Rubber, Wood Polish and Munster Cheese.


Palate:

The Sweet/Sour/Salty/Dirty/Muddy Mix very nicely coats your mouth and throat. It's quite satisfying. Peat and Smoke are certainly more present now. The Alcohol is nicely integrated but a slightly higher ABV would have been even better. Everything that Springbank produces has this Oily old-fashioned feeling to it and I'm a big fan!

Main Flavours: 

Toasted Malt, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Berries (Strawberry, Raspberry), Citrus Peel (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit), Earthy & Muddy Peat, Factory Smoke, Brine, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Hospital, Charred Oak, Dunnage, Smoked Bacon, Leather, Farm, Warm Banana sprinkled with Nutmeg & Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves and Dried Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Wax, Resin, Mix of Nuts, Dried Fruit and Dark Chocolate flakes, Old Books, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Aniseed, Licorice, Espresso/Black Tea & traces of Wall-Paper Starch, Slivovitz, PVC Pipes and Dyon Mustard.
  
     

Finish:

Middle-Long. Dirty but in a nice way. It's like licking a Petrol Pump! Mainly Sweet but with Sour, Salty and Funky notes for company. A light Bitterness towards the Medium Dry/Dry end. Smoke & Peat are more noticeable at this point. The Sulphur is there but okay. I find Toasted Malt, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dirty Earthy Peat, Factory Smoke, Hospital, Soot, Ashes, Tar,  Brine, Sour Red Berries and Cherries, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruits, Citrus Peel (Orange, Grapefruit), Grilled Pineapple, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso/Black Tea, Smoked Bacon, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Mint , Licorice and traces of Slivovitz, PVC Pipes, Rubber, Petrol and Wall-Paper Starch.  

Drinking Advice:

This Longrow does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 8.5 (********1/2)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8.5 - Finish: 8.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Very Nice


Conclusion:

The Longrow peated Single Malt is produced at the Springbank Distillery. In 1973, Springbank started a project that would try to produce a peated Islay type of whisky on the Scottish mainland. The name of the project was Longrow, named after the old Longrow distillery that was located close to Springbank. In 1990 the first peated Longrow appeared on the market. The Longrow Malts are dried for 48 hours over peat smoke. Longrow represents around 10% of the total Springbank production that currently amounts to 280.000 litres.

This is not your everyday " to go to" Whisky. It's probably a little too Dirty for that. But it somehow tastes like Old School Whisky and I really like to enjoy this type of Single Malt from time to time. It's very expensive and at this price level it should have been bottled on or near Cask Strength. It would have helped the Nose that's a bit on the Thin side. Still, I love Whisky like this because there's so much to discover. If you have the opportunity, go for it. I can safely recommend it if you like the Aroma/Flavour profile and are tired of today's Mainstream stuff.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 9, 2023

Green Spot Chateau Leoville-Barton Finish


“Red Red Wine”


Whisky Review # 980

Country: Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Brand: Green Spot Chateau Leoville-Barton Finish
Matured and Bottled for: Mitchell & Son, Dublin
Distilled at: Middleton
Type: Single Pot Still Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46% (Triple-Distilled)
Maturation: Bourbon Casks, New American Oak & Oloroso Sherried Wood  (7-10 Y.)
Finish: Chateau Leoville-Barton Red Wine Casks (1-2 Years)
Chill Filtration: Probably not
Sample provided by Jan from The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 50-65 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Okay at around US$ 50
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž If you like Red Wine, better drink Red Wine๐Ÿ˜œ

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

Light and quite Sweet but not unpleasant. The Alcohol is noticeable and so is the Fresh American Oak. The Red Wine Finish influence is quite strong resulting in lots of Sweet and Sour Fruit. The Sherry influence is rather limited.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Toffee, Baked Apples sprinkled with Cinnamon, Sour Fruit (Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherries, Grapefruit, Lemon), Grass and Earth, Milk-Chocolate, New and Charred Oak, Pepper and Ginger.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Peach-Filled Puff Pastry, Warm Banana sprinkled with Nutmeg, Mulled Red Wine, Toasted Pineapple, Floral Perfume, Marzipan, Almonds, Farm, Dyon Mustard, Leather, Tobacco, Fresh Herbs, Cloves and Curry. Distant hint of PVC Pipes & some Varnish.


Palate:

A Mix of Sugary Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. There's a bit of an Artificial Feel to it. It's a rather Young Whiskey and the Alcohol is a little on the Rough side. Can't complain about the amount of Fruit but overall it's a bit too Sweet for my taste.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Sugar, Toffee, Baked Apples and Bananas, Sour Fruit (Strawberry, Lemon, Raspberry, Grapefruit, Red Currant, Cherries), Milk Chocolate, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Caramel, Honey, Vanilla, Marzipan, Nougat, Sour Mulled Wine, Peach Ice Cream, Grass, Cloves, Curry, Wet Rocks, Plastic and Varnish.

Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Sweet. Increasing Bitterness and some Sour notes enter the game towards the Dry end. There is a rather strong Artificial Off-Note that I can't quite pin down. It's not really Plastic but it goes in that direction. The Finish is the weakest part of this Green Spot. I find Sweet Malt, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Sugar, Baked Apples and Bananas, Sour Fruit (Grapefruit, Strawberry, Raspberry, Lemon), Milk Chocolate, Charred Oak, Sour Red Wine, Varnish, Dirty Earth, Wax, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cloves, Curry, Nougat and Leather.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Green Spot neat.

Rating: 7  (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Conclusion:

This Green Spot is the first Irish Pot Still Whisky that received a Finish in Bordeaux Red Wine casks. And not just any Red Wine casks but casks that formerly contained the famous Grand Cru Classe Chateau Leoville-Barton (Saint-Julien) that is still run by descendants of the Irish wine-maker Thomas Barton.

I love Whisky and I love Red Wine but I prefer to enjoy them separately. I've never been a huge fan of Red Wine-finished Whisky and this Green Spot won't change my mind I'm afraid. The Leoville-Barton casks provide lots of Fruit, especially on the Nose, and that's a good thing but they also bring slightly overwhelming Sweet and Sour Flavours. There's also an Artificial feel to this Green Spot that I don't care for. I'm sure that many people will like this but I'm not one of them. My advise would be to try a sample first or stay with the standard Green Spot.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 2, 2023

Stratheden (Lost Distillery Company)


 “I Don’t Love It But I Think I Like It”


Whisky Review # 979

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Border Lowlands/Southern Highlands
Brand:  Stratheden - Classic Selection - Styled on long closed distilleries
Bottled and Blended by: The Lost Distillery Company, Kilmarnock
Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Unknown. Probably mostly Ex-Bourbon casks & some Sherried Wood
Chill Filtration: No
Price Average: US$ 55 (February 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ It's okay. I think you should go for the more mature expressions

Colour: Golden Sunlight (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Light, Young, a little Edgy and mostly Sweet. Lots of Bakery Aromas with some Peat and Smoke in the background. I would like to try the more mature versions of this Malt being The Archivist Selection and The Vintage Selection. They should be quite nice. The Nose of this Classic Selection is not bad but a bit Young and Immature.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Puff Pastry with Warm Apple and Pear Filling, Soft Peat, Smoke from a Distant Fire, Grass and Hay, Orange-Flavored Chocolate, Dusty Wood, Cinnamon and Ginger. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Floral & Green Notes, Tropical Fruitcake (Pineapple, Mango, Sultana), Lemon Peel, Toasted Nuts, Tobacco, Leather, Wet Newspaper and Pepper.


Palate:

Light, Young and slightly Thin but Oily at the same time. The Alcohol is noticeable at this point. It's a little Rougher than the Nose would suggest. The Palate is a mix of Sweet, Sour and Salty notes. Only a slight Bitterness here.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Grass and Straw, Seville Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Green Apple, Orange-Flavored Chocolate, Dusty Wood, Soft Peat, Factory Smoke, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol/Mint and Tobacco.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Toffee, Toasted Nuts, Floral and Green Notes, Mandarin, Tropical Fruitcake (Banana, Pineapple, Sultana, Mango), Wet Rocks and Sand, Cinnamon & Iron.
     

Finish:

Short-Middle Long and slightly Hot. Sweet at first but showing Sour and Salty notes towards the Medium-Dry to Dry end. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Honey, Hard Candy (Berry Flavor), Wet Peat, Factory Smoke, Ashes, Wet Rocks & Sand, Red Apple, Tobacco, Pepper, Mint and Cinnamon. Traces of Chocolate and Iron. 

Drinking Advice
:


This Stratheden does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.8 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7.3 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


Conclusion:

The Stratheden Distillery was founded in 1829 by Alexander Bonthroe & was located in the little village of Auchtermuchty near Cupar in Fife. The distillery worked with Beer Barley and Sherry casks and imported Peat from Orkney. The main reason for closing the distillery was the Prohibition in the USA that cancelled the main export market. It ceased production in 1924 and closed for good in 1926.

First of all I like the purpose of this Series created by Scott Watson and Brian Woods of The Lost Distillery Company. Both worked at Diageo before that. It's nice to try and recreate Single Malts from long closed distilleries based on the information still available on the Water Supply, Barley, Yeast and the distilling process. It's not easy to do that I suppose. The Stratheden is the fourth in a series of six that I bought as a Sample Gift package. All with Natural Color indeed and without Chill-Filtration as it was done in the days.

The Lost Distillery Company usually uses between 5 and 10 Single Malts to try and recreate the lost distilleries. I don't know the contents of this Blended Malt but I suspect it contains some peated Malt from Glen Scotia.

There's of course no way we can tell if this Blended Malt really resembles the old Stratheden Whisky. It's a little Young & Rough at places and I think I probably would like the more mature versions better. But this Classic Selection is not bad and reasonably priced. Try a sample or miniature like I did before buying a full bottle.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende ๐Ÿฅƒ                                                                 February 23, 2023

The Still Existing Bonded Warehouse