If I had known Ruben was going to publish his tasting notes to the first batch of Strathearn, I would not have sat on Tom’s notes on the same whisky one day too long.
In short, it would have been more fun to post these yesterday, but here they are anyway!
Tom wrote this, so it’s another guest post!
Strathearn is a new kid on the block, as being born in 2013 is still infancy in the whisky world. But it was a frontrunner in the opening of a lot of new distilleries in those days. They call themselves a craft distillery and the sweet little Hoga Stills underline that. Go check out their story.
I bought batch 001 of their NAS Strathearn single malt whisky. Looks like a clean break with the million “private casks” they released. A handsome bottle and spirit matured in European oak and ex-sherry casks. The colour of the whisky underlines these influences. Let’s see if we can detect some Perthshire character from Strathearn. A new sibling to Blair Athol, Aberfeldy and Edradour?
Spicey layers over warm maltings. Some cinnamon and tobacco leaf. Very modest.
Very rounded mouthfeel, the spices are there again, but now also a pleasant sweetness that was not foretold by the smell. What I admire is the absence of youth. This tastes quite mature already, like a decent 10 years old. The Hoga Stills at work here? Nice, fat spirit that dances easily with the powerful casks. Strong impressions of tobacco and copper coins. Tea of which you have forgotten to take out the bag.
Dark tones of pure chocolate and coffee. Good wood influence. Very smooth, even though the flavours are very outspoken.
There is a lot going on, impressive whisky, the only thing missing is a bit more integration and complexity. The parts are there, with a few more years the sum will make for a outspoken total.
About Tom van Engelen
I’m a writer in a variety of fields and have a soft spot for whisky, mainly malt, mainly from Scotland. In other times I enjoyed a stint as editor-in-chief of one of the first whisky magazines in the world. When not sipping a good glass I like to write some more, read, watch 007 movies or listen Bowie music. I’m engaged to Dasha, I have a sweet daughter and I live somewhere between the big rivers in the middle of The Netherlands.