Strathclyde 32yo, 1987-2020, Single Grain, Private Stock Range
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Douglas Laing
Cask type: Refill Barrel (172 btl.)
Nose: Sweet start on the nose with honey, vanilla and toffee. This is joined by notes of cereal, coconut and caramel sauce, followed by slightly spicy oak aromas.
Palate: Surprisingly fruity on the palate with distinct notes of pear, apricot and banana. Then creamy and sweet with toffee and orange marmalade, accompanied by
spicy oak and nutmeg. Pleasantly warming with a touch of astringency. Becomes creamier again towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long lasting with aromas of vanilla, pancakes, orange zest and some pine wood.
With water: More lively on the nose after the addition of a few drops of water. Vanilla and cereal notes remain, but sweetness and fruity notes are tamed. Sweet on the palate at first, but then very dry with oak, nutmeg and ginger. Towards the end, fruity aromas of apricot and pear shine through. The finish is still long, slightly warming and creamy with vanilla notes.
Comments: A very lively Strathclyde that once again shows how exciting well matured Grain Whisky can be. The wonderful fruity notes are in good balance with the oak spice from the refill barrel: fruity, creamy and spicy. A great dram, which one can enjoy without adding any water.
I thank Douglas Laing for the photograph!
Strathclyde 11yo, 2005-2017, Single Grain, Old Particular
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Douglas Laing
Cask type: Sherry Butt (# DL11484, 306 btl.)
Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: The nose starts off with gentle caramel, vanilla and a fresh hint of lemon zest. With time dried fruit - gooseberry and strawberry - arrives, nicely mixed with background oak, acacia honey and a herbal touch of pine needles.
Palate: Sweet and creamy on the palate with lots of vanilla and toffee. This is followed by dried fruits, more darker ones than those on the nose, and a touch of milk chocolate. Slightly warming with oak spice, pepper, and subtle nutmeg. Stimulates salivation with spicy notes of acacia honey and hints of pine needles towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long and rich. Lovely warming with some additional dried fruits - oranges and lemon, followed by sweet biscuits. Slightly spiced oak with a pleasant hint of acacia honey on the tail.
With water: There's almost no change on the nose with a splash of water. Slightly spicy notes are added to the pleasant fruity and vanilla sweetness. On the palate, however, water enhances the spiciness getting fizzy and tickling on the tongue while the sweetness of creamy vanilla and the fruity elements are still present. The finish is short with an increased astringency of oak.
Comments: This is quite an impressive example that single grain whisky doesn't need to be very old before being savoured. This just 11 years old Strathclyde is definitely on the sweet side with lovely layers of vanilla, toffee, and dried fruits, balanced with oak, spice and pleasant notes of pine needles. Good balance and good character - a delicate and rich whisky. No need to add water to this one.
I thank Jan Beckers from Douglas Laing for the sample!