Strathmill 12, 2009 (Signatory)

Unheralded Speyside distillery week comes to a close with only my second ever review of a malt from Strathmill, and the first to which I’ll be assigning a score. The only other one I’ve reviewed was a much older malt that I had only 20 ml of (I rarely assign scores to anything I’ve tasted less than 30 ml of). I liked that one but didn’t love the little bit I had of it. Now this 12 yo, I have 60 ml of. I’ve not had very many more Strathmills than I have previously reviewed and so I have very little sense of what to expect from this. I do know that I quite liked Monday’s Dailuaine (review here) and I liked Wednesday’s Inchgower even more (review here). Given that all three were bottled by Signatory, I’m choosing to be optimistic about this one. Well, I guess the suspense is going to be dispelled in just another minute. This entire introduction has been a waste of your time.

Wait, I do have an interesting nugget: this was put together from two first-fill hogsheads and yet the outturn was less than 300 bottles. Were these leaky hogsheads? Or did half of the spirit remain in a cask? If you have any idea or an educated guess, let me know in the comments.

Strathmill 12, 2009 (55%; Signatory; two first-fill hogsheads; from a bottle split)

Nose: Polished oak and a nice mix of juicy fruit: apricot, peach, orange peel. On the second sniff the oak is a little more prominent and the alcohol more palpable. With time the peach comes to the front and is joined by some berries. A few drops of water and there’s a slight leafy note.

Palate: Leads with the fruit with the polished oak coming up behind. A bit of char/soot in this as well. Hot but approachable at full strength with rich, oily texture. The char subsides a bit with time but never quite goes away. Here it’s the orange that expands as it sits. Okay, let’s see what water brings out. Well, it brings the char back up, along with a slight metallic note, but the fruit is still the top note.

Finish: Long. The fruit is in the ascendancy here as well, getting sweeter as it goes. As on the palate with time and water.

Comments: This is now two Signatory releases in a row that had unexpected (to me) char. Now, as I’ve noted, I don’t have so very much experience with either Strathmill or Inchgower; for all I know, this is not uncommon to malts from these distilleries. I do know for a fact that I rather liked this whisky. It would make a fine pair, following the more austere Inchgower with which it nonetheless shares other qualities..

Rating: 87 points.



One thought on “Strathmill 12, 2009 (Signatory)

  1. Looks like whiskyshopusa has this very bottle. I’m tempted.

    I’ve had positive experiences from them in the past as long as you mind the prices. Easy to email/chat with.

    Feel free to hide (not approve) this comment…not trying to advertise for anyone.


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