Single malt whisky - tasting notes

30 Dec 2013

Strathisla 1970 (G&M for Intertrade)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Strathisla

This is 16 years old Strathisla 1970, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail as a semi-official release for the Italian market. The spirit was distilled 29.09.1970 and bottled 29.06.1987 at natural strength. There’s also a version at 40%.

Intertrade was a company run by Ferdinando “Nadi” Fiori in Rimini, Italy. He owned the restaurant “Taverna degli Artisti” (famous among politicians, actors, directors… back then) and started in the 1970’s as one of the first Italian importers of whisky. He was one of the pioneers, not just for whisky which wasn’t very popular back then, but also for concepts like ‘cask strength’ bottlings.

He had excellent contacts with Gordon & MacPhail and sourced a lot of his bottlings from their warehouses. Most of his legendary releases (e.g. the Port Ellen 15 yo 1969) were bottled in the 1980’s. Later, Intertrade was restarted as Turatello for a short time until it evolved to High Spirits which is still active in whisky & rum as we speak. Mr. Fiori turned 70 this year by the way.

 

 

Strathisla 1970 G&M for Intertrade 16yoStrathisla 16 yo 1970 (61,3%, Gordon & MacPhail for Intertrade 1987, sherry wood)

Nose: dried prunes and black cherries. Hints of walnut liqueur. Coffee and chocolate. It’s got the old-style sherry character, including the hints of beef stock and jerky. Some earthy, slightly sulphury notes too. Mouth: very raisiny, with loads of dark chocolate. Mint. Star anise and cloves. Something of over-infused tea and strong liquorice. Quite heavyweight and a tad too bitterish and dirty for my taste. Slightly better when diluted but still… Finish: not too long, herbal, peppery and chocolaty.

The sherry is all over this whisky. Robust, dry and herbal, including an old-school dirtiness. Love it or hate it, I guess. Thanks Jens.

Score: 85/100

Strathisla 1970 (G&M for Intertrade) 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-12-30
  • Larsenal

    Hi Ruben.
    What’s up about the Italian importers from back then? Why was Italy so much into CS? I don’t get it…
    I love your blog by the way – like numerous others!

    Happy New Year!

    Kenneth

  • WhiskyNotes

    In the 1970’s there was a first boom for whisky and I believe this emerged from the wealthier classes. I guess Italian actors / politicians loved their glass of wine / whisky and Nadi Fiori simply catered for his restaurant clients.

    Mr. Samaroli and others started around the same time. They went to Scotland to source whisky and made some friends and business partners. I guess there was a plethora of good casks back then and still a small audience, so it must have been a wonderful time. Most of the whisky back then was blended, and single malts were usually sold as 5yo, sometimes 8yo but rarely very old, although the Italians discovered much older casks were available in the warehouses.

    I’m not sure why they were into cask strength. I suppose they had the opportunity to try sample directly from the cask and they noticed the added value of keeping it “as it is”.

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