Single malt whisky - tasting notes

11 Jun 2013

Strathisla 1937 (G&M)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Strathisla

Last night the members of the Fulldram whisky club gathered in Leuven for the High Mass of the tasting season, our Supertasting. The line-up was pretty impressive, enough to make any enthusiast drool:

My personal top-3 was Brora, Glengoyne and Strathisla, but most people favoured the Tomatin 1976 so that one came second in the general voting. I already reviewed my two winners (close call between Brora and Glengoyne by the way), so we’ll revisit the Strathisla for now.

It was distilled in 1937 (pre-war whisky, always something special) and bottled in the 1970’s by Gordon & MacPhail when they bottled semi-official releases for this distillery. There are at least four versions, of which the darker, sherried Connoisseur’s Choice releases at 43% are more famous than this younger and slightly more pale edition.

 

 

 

Strathisla 1937 G&MStrathisla 1937 (70 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, 26 2/3 fl. Oz, 1970’s)

Nose: quite typical for an antique malt. Starts on lime and sourish orange candy, seamlessly flowing into silver polish, metallics / minerals and waxed furniture. Tobacco leaves, soft honey and leather. A dustiness of old roses. Typical mint. Also a very subtle smoky note, like an extinguished barbecue. Underneath is also a nice hint of berries. The whole is really really subtle though, it needs time and some work to drag it all to the surface which makes the overall experience slightly less impressive. Mouth: slightly austere at first, with some resin and tobacco, covered in a veil of antiquity. Unfolds nicely on sweet honey, apricot jam and a vague pastry note. Plenty of oranges. Mint and chamomile tea and a very soft salty note. Soft herbs and liquorice, even traces of peat. Maybe not as lively as I hoped, not sure whether this was due to bottle ageing or maybe the first oxidation (the bottle was opened weeks ago for the other Fulldram division). Finish: rather short, with soft herbs and oranges.

Most reactions to this dram were something along the lines of “so old yet so fresh”. True, but not enough to get an extraordinary score, as it’s all so quiet. Nonetheless a real pleasure to drink, far from tired, and a truly educational dram. Expect to pay at least € 1000 if you can find a bottle.

Score: 91/100

Strathisla 1937 (G&M) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-06-11

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  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael): Just tasted this one. WOW. i am very very impressed Ruben. Amazing BFYB for 40 euro. this feels much older and so complex. WOW again. dang!
  • bakerman: I will look for the cheaper unpeated Caol Ila as I am interested to compare it with the younger versions released earlier (8 and 12 years). I will als
  • WhiskyNotes: It may be just a detail, but I said "a relatively modest price increase", not a modest price! It's true that the price is heavy, especially because I

Coming up

  • GlenDronach 1990 (PX cask #2970)
  • Highland Journey
  • GlenDronach 1993 Oloroso cask #494
  • Glen Elgin 1985 (Maltbarn)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)
  • Tomatin Cuatro series

1614 notes by Ruben

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