Taste: Cadenhead's Strathmill 18 year old

 

I’m slightly surprised I haven’t written about Strathmill previously on Whisky Rover. True, it isn’t a widely available, appreciated or bottled single malt, but I have enjoyed at least one Bladnoch Forum bottling previously.  Despite being established in the 1890’s it wasn’t until 2001 that an official single malt was released as part of Diageo’s Flora & Fauna series and since then it has slipped under the radar once again.
Until you have the pleasure of visiting Speyside then you won’t truly appreciate how many distilleries are scattered across the glens and near a viable water source.  Strathmill is located near the town of Keith, which has a cluster of distilleries nearby including Strathisla and unsurprisingly Glen Keith. One could argue that Strathmill is overshadowed by its neighbours and it’s only through independent bottlers such as Cadenhead’s that we can truly appreciate the distillery in its truest form rather than a blend.
This is another word of mouth recommendation from the Edinburgh Cadenhead shop. For non-regulars I’ll drop by and hear what the staff are enjoying, their recommendations and a wee taster before walking out with a bottle.
Distillery: Strathmill
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: February 2014 (18 years)
Cask: Bourbon hogshead
Strength: 54.4%
Edition: 282 bottles
Price: this was around £55

Colour: straw

Nose: a lovely light example of a Speyside whisky. Creamy coconut, sweet peanuts, a touch of orange peel then some sherbet sweetness that I wasn't expecting alongside olive oil. The presence of lemon is noticeable and melted white chocolate. Overall very approachable.

Taste: after the nose a little more restrained. Subtle lemon, a little ginger with vanilla. On the palate the wood comes through more here, slowly developing into crushed almonds. More water brings out a nuttiness and butteriness with Scotch pancakes.

This Strathmill isn't a bold or dynamic malt. In the typical distillery style it is very approachable and easy drinking with a little more complexity than you'd normally expect. Not for everyone due to its placid nature, this gentle whisky offers a welcome break from young overpowering, engineered whisky flavour bombs we see so much of currently. I like it, not enough shout from the rooftops but a contented thumbs up.  

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