Strathisla 12 Years Speyside Single Malt Whisky
This is a fascinating Speyside whisky. The distillery takes its roots back to the 1740s and claims to be the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Highlands. Strathisla is one of the main malt whiskies in the Chivas Brothers blends and many private whisky houses have done their own maturing and bottlings of Strathisla spirit.
On its own, Strathisla 12 yrs is a well balanced whisky! The color is a lovely midrange amber reminiscent of a light caramel. The nose is deceptive at first, with a strong breath of alcohol if you nose it with your mouth closed. The alcohol then yields to a subtle yet rich butterscotch and spiced vanilla aroma. The taste one gets immediately is the subtle sweetness and spiciness of a full whiskey; no characteristic particularly stands out, except perhaps the comfort spiciness which lingers softly on the tongue. I get a sense that the barrels employed for maturing may well be first fill bourbon casks, but with some time in a sherry cask for color and a dash of flavor. It is such a smooth, easy and tasty whisky that you do not need to dilute it. I have mostly enjoyed it neat and at times, to be objective, tasted it with varying amounts of water to open it up. I really do not appreciate much of a difference beyond saying that the taste of the whisky neat is preferable to me.
I have called the Strathisla 12 years old one of the finest 12 year old whiskies I've ever tasted. It is simple, yet elegant.