Strathisla distillery is located in the Speyside town of Keith, and is the oldest working distillery in the Highlands, having been established in 1786. Indeed, it is one of the few surviving Scottish distilleries to boast a pedigree dating back into the 18th century.
Strathisla is not just the oldest distillery in the Highlands but also one of the most photogenic, with its trademark twin kiln pagodas and waterwheel. Like so many distilleries, the structure we see today was largely the work of the Elgin-based doyen of 'whisky architects,' Charles Chree Doig.
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|Strathisla, 12-Year-Old (Scotland) |
Strathisla boasts excellent visitor facilities and is operated by the Pernod Ricard subsidiary Chivas Brothers. It is described by its owners as the 'Home of Chivas Regal.' Because of its key role in the composition of that best-selling deluxe blend, Strathisla can be quite elusive as a single malt, but the search is definitely worthwhile for anyone seeking an archetypal Speyside classic.
Rich and inviting on the nose, with Sherry, stewed fruits, spices and lots of malt. Full-bodied and almost syrupy on the palate. Well-mannered, with toffee, honey, nuts, a whiff of peat and a suggestion of oak. The finish is medium in length, slightly smoky, with more oak and a final flash of ginger.
43.0% ABV, 70cl, £22.50, specialist whisky merchants.