Secret Spirits Advent Calendar Day 11 – December 11th
Stronachie 18 y.o. (A.D. Rattray)
A whisky from the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar First Edition.
You may recall, if you’ve been following along with this somewhat furious post-a-day pace throughout December, that just about a week ago we tried the new Stronachie 10 year old. I shared a few words on how Stronachie was actually Benrinnes malt bottled and sold under the A.D. Rattray brand. If you cannae recall that post, and want a little more info, it’s right here for your reading pleasure.
Having already covered the ins and outs behind the Stronachie name, perhaps we’ll keep this one short and sweet and simply dive right in.
The malt behind door number 11 of the advent calendar is the 18 year variant. And while I did like the 10, this is in a different league altogether. Much more emphasis on the jammy fruits and softly spiced subtleties. Any of the youthful spirit notes from the younger version have fallen by the wayside and left a malt that is a showcase for vibrancy at a much more mature station along the road.
Is it great whisky? No. Not quite. Is it good? Absolutely. And if I recall correctly, this one seems to fall into a nice price bracket as well. Good stuff. Solid malt and a great opportunity to test drive a distillery that we don’t often see bottled as single malt ’round here.
Nose: Florals and pepper right off the bat. Like opening a wax-sealed jar of homemade jam. A touch of white and milk chocolate. Cranberry. A touch of pepper. Very typically Speyside, if I were to be a believer in the concept of regionality.
Palate: A lot of wood. A touch of tobacco. Crunchy apple and pear. Sweet and syrupy berry coulis or jam. Even some banana and almond slivers.
Thoughts: This is a whisky that is miles better than I remember from a few years back. Technically flawless, just not a lot to get excited about, other than good simple malt whisky.
Bonus: My mate, Jonathan, and I are gonna blog on these drams side by side through the season. Here’s a link to his notes on the same whisky at SingleMalting.com.
– Reviewed by: Curt