Jan 012013
 

Strathisla 12 y.o.231

43% abv

Score:  82/100

 

Not a lot to say really.  An absolutely typical, cookie-cutter Speyside single malt.  Though some of whisky’s most iconic distilleries and historic malts come from the Speyside region (The Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich…), many seem to absolutely flounder under the weight of defining themselves.  Let’s face it…nosed blindly, your average malter would have trouble picking the two big ‘Glen’s’ apart.

Nestled amid this liberal spattering of distilleries in Northern Scotland there are a handful of treasures, though.  Glenfarclas, Aberlour, Benriach, etc.  Strathisla, though not quite in the same league, still produces a fine malt in what is said to be Scotland’s oldest continuously operating Distillery.  Apparently quite beautiful at that.

While in principle it is hard to detract points from a decent whisky without ascribing these deductions to flaws, I can’t help but feel that a lack of personality is a flaw.  And here, sadly, is where Strathisla stumbles.

The devil in the details…

Big juicy red berries lead the charge here.  The nose is absolutely redolent of fruit and honey.  Mild spices leeched from the cask are nearly buried beneath a spray of carnation sweetness.  Almost seems perfumed.  There is something almost like a smear of strawberry jam on this one as well.  All in all…pleasant, though perhaps a touch too perfumed.  Nothing really remarkable here.  The palate is a bit weightier than the nose, I should add.

Perhaps I’m being a little harsh here.  Perhaps not.  I simply expect a reason to go back to a bottle.  If I can’t remember it, why would I do that?  There are far too many exceptional drams out there, and life is simply too short.

Utterly unremarkable, but in no way unacceptable.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 10:03 pm
Jan 012013
 

Amrut Intermediate Sherryjhfjfjhjlhg 061

57.1% abv

Score:  92/100

 

An exemplary showing of flawless sherry cask maturation.  Beautiful juicy Oloroso meets exotic Indian spice in a Monsoon Wedding of epic proportions.  I’m not even gonna wait till the end of this review to let you know the verdict.

I.  Love.  This.  Whisky.

Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’m spouting it here again:  Amrut is one of the absolute greatest, most fantabulous, untouchable distilleries on the planet.  Every new release is a thing of excitement and anticipation.

So, what is Intermediate Sherry exactly?  Well…this is what Amrut have referred to as ‘sandwich maturation’.  The whisky grows old (well…by Indian climate standards anyway) first in Ex-bourbon casks, then in Oloroso butts, then back into ex-bourbon.  I believe brand ambassador, Ashok Chokalingam, referred to this is as a ‘sherry sandwich’ when last we met.

So what is it that makes this one so special?  This…

Nose:  Beautiful Oloroso sherry sweetness.  Raw bread dough.  Orange zest and cherry.  Cocoa shavings.  Amrut spice melange…particularly nutmeg.  Wee bits of eucalyptus.  Raspberry puree.  Soft, crumbly sugar cookies.  Bordering on the perfect olfactory experience.

Palate:  Warm melting chocolate.  Orange (and maybe lemon) notes.  Spicy and sweet cherry/raspberry juiciness.  Again…a slight minty tang.  So much more going on here that I simply struggle to unravel it all, but man…what an exceptionally delicious and zesty linger.  Wow.

One of the absolute highlights of the Amrut range.

Buy Amrut.  Support this distillery.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 9:38 pm