This Scotch has a complicated history. Stronachie was a distillery near the town of Forgandenny that closed in 1928. The firm that represented the distillery in Scotland, A. D. Rattray, decided to bring the name back with a new offering in the early 2000s. The whisky that’s actually in the bottle of this current iteration, however, is from the distillery of Benrinnes. So even though the original Stronachie was a highland malt, the whisky actually in the bottle today comes from a Speyside distillery. While confusing at first, taste-testing of a rare bottle from the original distillery actually matched better to a Speyside, as the process of making whisky has changed over the centuries. So, less confusing. History and sourcing aside, however, the chief question is…how does such an echo of bygone times taste?
Age: 12 years
Maturation: Bourbon cask
Nose: Peat, vanilla, frosting/icing, beeswax, sour apple cider, toasted oats, heather honey, iodine
Palate: Heather honey, mead, aged oak, apple, medicinal, malt, vinegar, sweet
Finish: Squash, peat, apple vinegar
Comments: A few drops of water helps cut the antiseptic element. Great quote on the A. D. Rattray page for this Scotch: “The obliteration is total. Only the name remains.”
Adam – This is a surprisingly complex Scotch. It’s nose is super active if you can get past the burn; water helps. I’m not sure if I love it exactly, but it’s delightful to explore and discuss with friends, as there are a lot of elements going on under the surface. The apple notes are nowhere near the strength of other whiskeys we’ve tried but they are present. There’s a little sweetness but it’s cut with some vinegar or medicinal quality that takes a few sips to get past. The finish is pleasantly long, if not very flavorful or full. Let this one sit in your glass for a bit to settle and open up. This one also seems to be affected by season. Probably best enjoyed in the fall.
Kate – This Scotch is like a visit to the orchard, just as autumn weather is on the cusp of turning crisp. There’s autumnal fruits and a hint of wood fire.
Meghan – If only all medicine tasted like the Stronachie. It is one of the more medicinal/antiseptic Scotches that we’ve had in a while. A bit of water helps tame that aspect down to an equal player. There is a fresh sweetness on the front that flows to an oaky apple orchard where the fallen apples are just starting to turn. The finish is present but not overly noteworthy. Sometimes such a finish is a problem but with this Scotch, it works so that the slight peat and warmth compliment versus overwhelm.