This week's review focuses on a rather impressive expression of Strathmill and what makes it stand out is the depth of complexity that it possesses.
The distillery has undergone a succession of ownership changes over the years and was owned by Justerini & Brooks, the firm which is responsible for creating the world famous J&B blended whisky. Strathmill is seen to be an important component of J&B and has maintained that status since, which explains why so little of it makes it onto the market as a single malt.
While there are official representations in the form of the Flora & Fauna range, the independent bottlings of Strathmill tend to showcase a wider range of styles and flavours and also provides us with some insight as to the distillery's capabilities.
This week's review focuses on an expression of Strathmill which was distilled in 1992, matured for 23 years in a single bourbon hogshead before being bottled at a cask strength abv of 51.8% by independent bottler Carn Mor for their Celebration of the Cask range.
So, let's dive right into the review!
Strathmill 1992 23 Years Old (Bottled by Carn Mor, 51.8% abv)
Colour: Bright gold
Nose: Initial entry presents a pronounced alcoholic note followed surprisingly by some tropical fruit hints which are reminiscent of mango, kiwi and pineapple. There's a fair bit of oak, wood spices in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg as well as some mint, camphor, white pepper and lemon peel.
Palate: Initial entry presents more of the same hints and the palate stays true to the nose by providing a hit of alcohol followed by the tropical fruits, wood spices and drying oak. Spicy, yet elegant.
Finish: Long and lingering on the finish, with vestigial hints of tropical fruits coupled with the oak and wood spices carrying through to the very end.
Balance: An incredibly well-balanced and well-represented expression which showcases the distillery's capabilities while allowing for some of the more unusual tropical notes to shine through. The mouthfeel is oily initially but becomes rather drying as time progresses.
This expression of Strathmill is available for purchase by the dram or as a part of the Celebration of the Cask flight. Be quick though, as there is only a finite amount left and it won't stick around for long!
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