30 Dec 2013
Strathisla 1970 (G&M for Intertrade)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted 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 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.