There’s a slew of new distilleries making their first offerings, and for my this is the first time tasting a Strathearn, albeit not a regular release, rather a private cask bottled by Finnish whisky enthusiast Anders Malmsten.
Strathearn is an interesting distillery because it’s the epitome of craft distilleries in Scotland. Firstly, it’s Scotland’s smallest distillery. Their “thing” is that each batch of whisky they produce is different, playing with a plethora of casks, from ex bourbon and sherry to rum, with sizes ranging from 40 liters and up. The distillery has 2 tiny stills, with the wash still running 800 liters at a run, and the spirit still running 450 liters, for a total annual production of about 100,000 liters. Another interesting feature is that the distillery uses Maris Otter barley, which was expanded upon in the review of the Glenmorangie Tùsail.
Strathearn Private Single Cask 115 ‘Sauron’s Eye’, Non Peated Sherry Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky (57.1% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Mahogany, slow legs with a lot of residue on the glass.
Nose: First you get the alcohol, and then a lovely treacle and vanilla, this is a proper sherry bomb for being such a young expression. Balsamic vinegar appears together with wood spices, sour cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, hints of dried fruit
A bit of water calmed down the alcohol and gave a glimpse of the grain behind the spirit.
Palate: Hot entry, oak tannins and dryness, wood spices and a red fruit coulis sweetness. It’s thick and viscous, with a lot of pepper and some cherry cough drops. There’s also a woodsy sour note, like you get from a green apple.
Linger: Pepper and sour berries, with spice around the gullet and a dryness in the mouth. There’s a hint of Wishniak in the finish, which is long and mainly spicy.
It’s hard to believe that this whisky is only three years old (yes, Anders, three years, three months and ten days!). I’ll be sure to keep my eyes out for further Strathearn bottlings, as there’s a definite quality in this distillate and in the casks they use.
Thank you Anders for tasting your beautiful cask!