...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Strathmill 23 year old 1989 Blackadder Raw Cask

Where my Strathmill fans at?!

I've tried a grand total of two Strathmills, both of which were part of Signatory's budget "Vintage" range, but neither of which were any good. Yet, this site has a complete absence of Strathmill. So here's a review of the first cask strength Strathmill I've ever tried. It's from Blackadder's Raw Cask range has had more hits than misses for me, so I'm cautiously optimistic. Thank you to aaron197172 of Booze Dancing for gifting me this sample.

Distillery: Strathmill
Owner: Diageo
Independent Bottler: Blackadder (Raw Cask)
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Age: 23 years (October 1989 to June 2013)
Maturation: Refill Sherry Puncheon
Cask number10308
Bottle: 77 of 305
Alcohol by Volume: 53.3%

It has a light yellow gold color and Raw Cask Shmutz®. The mellow nose starts out with light beer, anise, rubber and plastic toys. Saline. Walnuts. Lots of barley throughout. The palate is very grassy and leafy. Fresh savory herbs, cocoa powder, a little bit of white fruit. Slightly drying. With time it picks up fennel seed and rye seed notes. The finish has a lot of roasted character, and an occasional burnt note. Dried herbs and a hint of cigar smoke. A copper/blood note. Barley.

The label recommends "a little added water". Sure, what the hell.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv
The nose has become very herbal; think dried basil and sage. That's met with lemon and pineapple. A little dusty. Big on barley, still. The palate is a little sweeter and spicier. Dried leaves. Light bitterness. Wood spice. Armagnac-ish. The finish gets grassier. Mixes chile peppers and gummi bears. Cigar ash.

This one plays close to the barley and its lack of sexiness makes it feel slightly old school. At full strength, this Strathmill works better on the palate. Once water was added to the whisky, I preferred the nose. Its lean, low-oak style appeals to me, and I would have given it a higher score, but the finish is a little short and flat. Still, this was MUCH better than I'd expected.

Availability - Still at some European retailers four years later
Pricing - $150-$180 (ex-VAT, w/o shipping), and that's why it's still available
Rating - 82