In the beginning 1953, a flood covered large parts of the south-western parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and the East coast of the UK, including parts of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. At the end of that same year, on the 19th of December 1953, the Strathisla distillery filled fresh ex-Sherry butt #1614 of Gordon & MacPhail with their spirit, to mature for 58 years and be bottled on the 20th of December 2012. WhiskySpeller HQ received a sample of this cask recently, as part of the promotion of Gordon & MacPhail’s Speyside Collection.
43% abv, €12.500*
Nose: As to be expected from the colour (this has definitely not been coloured with the dreaded e150), this is another sherry bomb with lots of dried fruit notes of cranberries, raisins, blackberries and strawberries, mixed with gingerbread. A slight citrusy blood orange note pops up, together with well used leather and tobacco leafs. A whiff of mint can be found, right before I take my first sip.
Palate: More mouth coating, sweet sherry notes of honey and dark fruit, such as brambles, raisins, plums and blackberries. Spicy, fresly ground pepper corns and fresh roasted almonds change into quality marzipan.
Finish: on the swallow, there is a hint of smoke (?!) before the long and pleasantly firm finish continues with more dried fruit. Not the expected overly dry mouth feel, but sweet fruitcake and blood oranges with spicy anise and fresh mint stay a while.
Conclusion: A sherry bomb to my liking. Sweet, fruity, dark, deep and complex.
*per the collection of six bottles