Single malt whisky - tasting notes

25 May 2011

Strathisla 1970 (Malts of Scotland)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Strathisla

Here’s a recent Malts of Scotland release with a slightly different presentation (tube and different label) as it is a joint bottling with The Whisky Agency. This Strathisla 1970 was bottled from a dark sherry hogshead and presented at the recent Whisky Fair in Limburg.

Would you believe this is the most recent Strathisla I’ve made notes of?
All the others were 1960’s distillation.

 

Strathisla 1970 | Malts of ScotlandStrathisla 40 yo 1970 (59,6%, Malts of Scotland & The Whisky Agency 2011, sherry hogshead, 109 btl.)

Nose: very intense oloroso aromas. Dried fruits (raisins and figs) and liquorice. A hint of cherry liqueur. Fruit jams. Melon with Port. After a while it shows more nutty notes and some tobacco. Some butterscotch and cigar boxes. Clean and quite excellent: heavy sherry the way it should be. Mouth: lots of oomph and very concentrated. Water required! Still big, with plenty of dried fruits, some herbal notes and resin. Liquorice and walnut liqueur. Prunes. Dark chocolate. A little cough syrup. A rather ‘dark’ palate. A dry mouthfeel overall but it shows lovely jammy flavours towards the end. Finish: very long, with the same dark and dry sherry theme.

This kind of sherry can only be expected of Strathisla and a handful of other distilleries like GlenDronach. Very good but quite expensive as well. Around € 300.

Score: 90/100

Strathisla 1970 (Malts of Scotland) 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-05-25
  • Kenneth

    Hi Ruben.

    Quite a massive pricetag from MoS…
    Is that an future indication for their price level, you think?
    I sure hope not…

    Kenneth

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    It looks like they’re upping the prices indeed, I’m not sure why. One of the possibilities could be that they’re buying more casks from / together with third parties?

  • Charlie

    It appears that more and more old sherried whiskies are becoming more expensive.

  • Martin

    The point is that the old and rare casks are getting more and more expensive. I know that the bottlers hardly earned anything (!!!) with this bottling despite the hefty price.

    If you have bought in the past and have old casks lying in your warehouse good for you. But most bottlers can`t afford to buy old casks and keep them for a couple of years because of the financial burden.

    Therefore they have to buy at today`s prices and sell immediately. And if the bottler wants something special he has to pay the price the broker/seller of the cask asks for.

    I don`t know how long this trend will keep going but I can imagine that we will see a stop of new bottlings of old Strathisla, Longmorn, …., in the forseeable future because the indie bottlers can`t afford anymore to pay the high prices the sellers ask for (and there`s not enough buyers who are willing or able to pay 300 Euros for a new bottle either).

    We`ll see. I just wanted you to understand that (at least in this case) the indie bottlers are not reponsible for the price increases of the last couple of months.

    Best regards
    Martin

  • MARS

    Thanks for the insight, martin. It is interesting.

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    @Martin: Well yes, some casks are getting rare, but that’s only part of the explanation. Last year you could buy a Strathisla 1970 (G&M for LMdW) for € 190. I don’t see why a bottler would concentrate on casks that he needs to buy at today’s high prices already, I fear these bottles could sit on the shelves for a very long time.

  • Martin

    @ Ruben: Of course most bottlers have to concentrate on buying casks today because most bottlers don`t have ready matured casks lying around.

    If you are G&M or DL or DT of course you have and then you bought your stocks ages ago for pennies – as new make. These “giants” still buy today but still only new make – again for pennies.

    The ones who have to buy ready matured casks now are in trouble. Of course they don`t have to buy all the old Longmorns or Strathislas and move to younger casks instead. But of course these old casks often offer a lot more quality than a ten year old Glen something (unfortunately they are five times as expensive, too).

    In the end it all comes down to the big question: Are you “better” and more successful by selling cheaper and not only top quality or do you only want the best on the market. Then you have to keep hoping your customers are willing to pay for it.

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    Well said. The last sentence is the key element.

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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.