Strathisla 42 (Gordon & MacPhail 1969/2012) Review

This is a 42 year sherried Strathisla that was bottled by G&M in 2012 at 43% ABV.

Nose: Super fruity and rich sherry right up front – maraschino cherries, blueberries, brown sugar, and raisins. Fruits are slightly tempered with some nutmeg and leather – oak is surprisingly muted given its age.

Palate: Oak much heavier here as expected, but still loads of fruit from the sherry. Some cinnamon butter appears with milk chocolate.

Finish: Mostly oak now as the fruits fade, but not too tannic which minimizes the bitterness here.

Rating: 92/100 – I love these old sherried Strathislas – they really strike the right balance of oak/sherry despite their age.

Value for the money: I bought into a sample split where the bottle was purchased at $535 – I wouldn’t buy a bottle at that price, but given its age, it’s a relatively decent price.

Strathisla 1972 (Gordon & MacPhail 1972/2013) Review

This is a roughly 40 year old Strathisla that was distilled in 1972, matured in ex-sherry casks, and bottled in 2013 at 43% ABV.

Nose: Super sweet sherry full of raisins, pears, peaches, apples, bananas, and surprisingly little oak. A real fruit bomb on the nose.

Palate: The fruit fest continues with peaches, spiced apples, pears while some milk chocolate notes develop. A bit of slate as the oak shows up, but the oak is still surprisingly mild given the age.

Finish: Peach and sweet sherry notes linger on with the oak coming up a bit stronger, but still held in check by all the sweet notes.

Rating: 92/100 – A fantastic sherry bomb if you enjoy very sweet/fruit heavy malts. I’ve had a few old ones like this where the oak is just too overbearing, but this one is perfectly balanced.

Value for the money: Looks like this originally retailed around $550 or so, and I think that’s a pretty fair price.

Strathisla 25 (Gordon & MacPhail Reserve 2006 Cask #8510) Review

This is a 25 year Strathisla bottled under the G&M Reserve label in 2006 at 48.7% ABV.

Nose: Black cherries with heavy yeast combined with a slight raw barley profile. Anise, blood orange, melon sorbet, rich vanilla, and damp wood chips.

Palate: Fresh dough with honeydew melon, sour malt, a bit of tang, black pepper, and old oak.

Finish: Pepper lingers with some bitter oak and slightly acrid smoke notes – a bit of tangerine cuts through after a bit.

Rating: 90/100

Value for the money: I paid in to the bottle split at about a $285 valuation. I wouldn’t buy a bottle at that price – I’d be a consumer maybe around the $150 mark.