Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon hogshead
Added coloring: No
Owner: Morisco Spirits
Average price: € 232.00
Official website: moriscospirits.com
The third distillery in the town of Keith in the Moray region, Strathmill is owned by Diageo (unlike the other two, Strathisla and Glen Keith, which are owned by Pernod Ricard), and was established in 1891 by converting a corn mill, when whisky production had become much more profitable.
The original name Glenisla-Glenlivet lasted until 1895, when gin producers W. & A. Gilbey bought the distillery, giving it its current name.
Various changes of hands, acquisitions and mergers brought it into the portfolio of the multinational giant, with rare original bottlings including that for the well-known Flora & Fauna series.
And so we come to Andrea Morisco and his passion for whisky, which led him not long ago to open an online shop bearing his name: not a generalist shop, but a careful and loving selection of quality bottles, mainly from independent bottlers.
And so it was only natural that, together with the shop, bottlings bearing the Morisco Spirits name should appear, starting with an initial selection of three bottles with a particular and interesting profile.
I will start with the most important ageing, this Strathmill poured in an ex-Bourbon cask in 1994 and finished in the bottle in 2020 at cask strength and without artificial treatments, chosen, in Andrea’s own words, “for its elegance, it reminded me a lot of the Lowland style and all these aspects of old paper, rose, camomile… I love them…”.
Light gold in the glass.
The nose is immediately very floral and spring-like, like a stream flowing past violets and roses, comforted by tea leaves and honey. There is no lack of fruity tones of peach, mango, apricot and maracuja, with a gentle contribution of vanilla, lemon zest and almonds. Soft and elegant, it develops waxy notes and, as Andrea said, like leafing through an old book, with a suggestion of lavender. Fresh and refined.
More spicy than the nose would suggest, on the palate there is a good blast of black pepper accompanied by cinnamon on a well-balanced alcohol content, with the accentuation of almonds to the detriment of fresh fruit. Citrus fruits (orange and lemon), hints of honey and vanilla, herbaceous substrate with bitter aspirations, with rhubarb and bark that cleanse the mouth. More severe than on the nose, almost grim.
The finish is long and dry, of bitter orange, almonds, a hint of salt and spice.
Fine and elegant, with a friendlier appearance on the nose that turns into austere detachment on the palate, like a gentleman from another era who knows how to be cordial while keeping his distance. Rich and complex, it requires time and attention, which you gladly give.