Apr 9, 2017

Hepburn's Choice Strathmill 24yo...

Hepburn's Choice Strathmill 24yo (47.9%): Here is my very first Strathmill review on the blog... Strathmill is situated in Keith and owned by Diageo. It is one of the rare distilleries in Scotland using purifiers attached to their two pairs of stills. Although the distillery has a quite sizeable capacity of 2.6 million liters we have seen only a couple of official bottlings in last two decades that I know of. Almost all of their production goes directly to Diageo's J&B blend.* The sample that I have is from a single cask bottling released exclusively for K&L Wine Merchants by Hepburn's Choice. The whisky is distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2016 at cask strength.

Color: Yellow gold, Sauvignon Blanc with thin legs around the glass.. I assume the whisky spent its life in a refill cask since it kept a very nice light color after 24 years.

Nose: Now, that's my kinda nose... Clean, refreshing and malty. Ex-bourbon cask goodness: Vanilla, Dole canned pineapple rings and green malt. Dry and old oak staves and pine nuts. Swimming pool, Sigg water bottle, endives and dandelion leaves. Two drops of water works great: More fruits less bitter greens... Underripe Concorde pears, green almonds and Green Gage plums. Gummi bears and rubber bands.

Palate: Malt again... It's hotter on the palate than I thought it will be considering its abv. Granny Smith apples, Sour Patch Kids and oak. Some white pepper and mild chili oil. Water doesn't work quite as good as it did on the nose but helps to make it less hot and more approachable actually. Oakier and more bitter now. Oily... Resin gum, dried rosemary stalks and camomile tea.

Finish: Medium long. White pepper, pine cones and malt.

Overall: A clean, very spirit forward, fruity and vegetal dram... Unfortunately the palate didn't deliver as much as the nose promised. But even if it is not an adventurous and/or edgy whisky it definitely made an ex-bourbon cask lover like me quite happy. And again like any other K&L bottling it is also incredibly affordable for a 24yo whisky. Many thanks to Florin again for the sample.

Price: $90

85/100

* Distillery info sourced from Malt Whisky Yearbook 2017 edited by Ingvar Ronde.