Strathmill is not a whisky you come across often. It’s mostly used for Diageo blends like J&B, since they took ownership of the plant and brand in 1997. Before that it was owned by Chivas, which also used it for blends.
In the last couple of years there have been a reasonable number of Cadenhead’s bottlings, if I’m not mistaken. I have one of these which I’ll review at some point. But, this one came from a sample I got a few years ago. A very decent age, at 26 years old, and with it coming from a bourbon hogshead, there is still some room for the spirit to make itself known.
Sweet on the nose, with quite some tropical fruit. Rich fruits like mango and papaya. But there’s also notes of straw and sawdust, some dark chocolate and milky coffee.
The palate is not sharp at all, even when you’re starting fresh. There’s a bit of a tingle but no real heat. Quite oaky, with sawdust and straw. Some rich, tropical fruit like mango and papaya. Also stewed apples. An interesting combination.
The finish shows a bit more of the American oak, and has a bit more bite. It’s, strangely, a bit spirity even after 26 years. So, quite green and a tad coppery. The fruitiness is slightly less ‘ripe’ than before.
Strangely, I got quite some tropical fruits on the nose and palate. Normally I would associate that with sherry casks, but I guess the spirit itself has something to say about that too.
In the end the American oak comes through, as do flavors of apple. I like that the spirit is still noticeable even though the spirit isn’t all that great. As in, it is well suited for blending as it’s not a flavor powerhouse.
Strathmill 26yo, 18/03/1988-31/03/2014, Bourbon Hogshead 792, 52.4%. Bottled by The Whisky Warehouse No. 8, and still available in Belgium for € 142.50