Few days ago in the nice location of “Alcoliche Alchimie” we had the pleasure to help the Pernod Ricard brand ambassador, Andrea Gasparri, in a very unusual tasting: he displayed the high horses of the Pernod portfolio (Longmorn 16, Aberloud A’bunadh batch 46 and this Strathisla 12yo that we review today), we replied with 3 indie bottlings from Cadenhead’s of the same distilleries. At the end there wasn’t an absolute winner, but we can say that, as expected, the A’bunadh was really liked by everyone. In the meanwhile here our tasting notes for this malt from Keith, one of the most beautiful Scottish distilleries.
N: as a first impression it seems few inches above the “everyday drams”, main reason is the intensity and compactness of the notes on the nose. Anyway, it’s very fresh, almost floral and very honeyed. Ripe pear and toffee. Egg yolk. Generous whiffs of malt, for sure young but quite creamy and coating. Anise and candied fruit, with a bit of raisins. To complete the profile, a light note of wood, dried fruits and orange peel. Come on it’s not so simple!
P: we confirm what we said about being few inches about the average daily dram, it’s indeed quite full bodied. Creamy (lots of toffee) and very malty. A burst of dried fruit (hazelnut) to counterbalance the sweet notes of vanilla, honey and pear. It seems less young compared with the nose. Furthermore the alcohol disappears completely and therefore invites you to drink this whisky almost carelessly.
F: tons of malt and again cream. Afterwards, while it vanishes, it comes back vegetal and grassy with final notes of cereal malt.
In 2013 the distillery launched a new version of this bottling, decreasing the abv from 43 to 40% and abandoning the square shape of the historical green bottle for this new roundish silhouette. Andrea says this decision is to make the product more endearing for the new Asian markets; while we, dusty men from the old continent, prefer the vintage geometry of the old Strathisla. Despite disquisitions over the esthetic detail, the content left us nicely satisfied for the young “speysiders” category: this 12yo is characterized by pleasurable and perfumed scents and a good consistency at the palate that never seems watery. We would love to try an older OB, there is no lack of potential here: 84/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Cocorosie – Tears for animals