Strathisla whiskey: history, overview of taste and types

Strathisla whiskey: history, overview of taste and types

One of the most famous alcohol brands in Scotland, Strathalla whiskey is produced at the distillery of the same name, located in the Highlands.

A wonderful single malt scotch is traditionally a part of the Chivas Brothers' blends, being their heart and soul.

"Strathisla" is also released in a single version, not only by the distillery owners, but also by independent Scottish bottlers: Douglas Laing, Hart Brothers, Gordon & MacPhail".

Brand history

The Strathisla distillery, the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Highlands, was built in the town of Keith on the banks of the Isla River in 1786 and was originally called Milltown.

It is known that before the construction of the distillery, a monastery functioned on the same site, famous for its strong heather ale and the holy Naomh spring, which bubbles up from the ground and is guarded by "spirits". The crystal clear water from the spring is used today for the distillation of malt spirits.

The first owners of the plant were George Taylor and Alexander Milne.

In the XIX century, the distillery was destroyed twice and was literally rebuilt from the ashes: first after a fire, then after an explosion.

History of the Strathisla brand

In 1886, at the Edinburgh International Congress, Strataila scotch received an honorary diploma in the category "Old Highland Malt Whisky".

In the mid-20th century, the plant was owned by a Russian-born financier, Jay Pomeroy, who was convicted of fraud and tax evasion. It was he who renamed the company, based on the characteristics of the area: "Strath" means "mountain valley" and "Isla" is a river that flows nearby.

In 1951, the distillery became the property of Chivas Brothers and later became part of Pernod Ricard. At the suggestion of the new owners, Strataila whiskey turned not only into a component of blends, but also began to be sold as a separate drink.

Interesting facts about the distillery

  1. The roof of the distillery is crowned with elegant pagodas

    The reason why it was named "the most picturesque distillery in the region".

    Images of the famous towers can be seen on the bottles of 12-year-old single malt from the Chivas Brothers.

  2. The distillation cubes of the plant have a special design with an inclined "neck"

    It is believed that this shape is the reason why the heaviest and most oily spirits in the entire Speyside are produced here.

    When replacing equipment, the manufacturer tries to copy the smallest flaws and dents so as not to disturb the usual taste.

  3. A visit to the distillery is included in the program of most Scottish whisky tours

    During which you can taste both "pure" Strataila and included in blends.

Overview of Strataila whiskey types

  1. Strathisla 12 Years

    The most famous single malt from "Chivas Brothers". Dark gold colored scotch aged in oak barrels, 40-43% strength.

    Aroma: balanced, fresh, with the presence of citrus, oak, vanilla notes.

    The soft, sweetish taste is characterized by tones of fruit, sherry, herbs, pastries, flowers.

    The finish is warming, slightly burning.

    Strathisla 12 Years

  2. Strathisla by Gordon and MacPhail

    The company's clients include the parliaments of many European countries.

    Before being sold, Strathayla scotches are further aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The maturation period can exceed 50 years.

    As it ages, accents of chocolate, spices, and molasses appear in the taste.

    The cost of drinks increases in proportion to their age.

    Rare collector's items are estimated at 2-3 thousand dollars, young versions of Strathayla can be purchased for 30-50. Strength ranges from 40 to 52% ABV.

    Strathisla by Gordon and MacPhail

  3. Strathisla 14 Years Old by Hart Brothers

    It is part of the line of rare single malt whiskeys from the Finest Collection series, aged and bottled by a family-owned wholesaler.

    The nutty scotch is dominated by fruity floral and creamy vanilla notes. Strength: 46%.

    You can buy the drink for about $150.

    Strathisla 14 Years Old by Hart Brothers

  4. Strathisla 21 Years Old by Douglas Laing

    Whiskey distilled in 1991, aged in oak for two decades.

    Bottled at 50% cask strength and released in a limited edition (156 bottles) in February 2013 as part of the "Old Malt Cask" series. Bottler is an independent family-owned company "Douglas Laing and Co".

    The drink has a spicy aroma with notes of pepper and acacia, a sweet taste with tones of honey, milk chocolate and malt, a smooth finish with hints of ginger and smoke.

    Strathisla 21 Years Old by Douglas Laing

Strathisla is drunk as a digestif, neat or in the company of a cigar.

Update: 26.05.2019

Category: Whiskey and Bourbon