|SMWS G10.1 Strathclyde 23yo
Strathclyde Distillery - Gorbals, Glasgow.
Paint a picture...
The ground is sandy and as you look up the dirt track you see the swinging sign of a still-distant saloon. Parched and adventurous, you wander up to the slatted doors and enter the bustling room. You hit the sipping whisky, as good and sweet as a decent bourbon, the creamy aroma and vibrant, spicy inhale hitting you each time you approach it. You need a few of these, as your back tooth is giving you gip and back-street dentistry isn't famed for its gentle touch.
Later, as you stumble next door to get your tooth seen to, you're placed in a chair and strapped down, getting strangely positive feelings about the upcoming fix. A shady man walks in and pushes honey-soaked cotton into your gums and a spicy, almost orange-soaked cloth against your nose, as you begin to fade in and out of consciousness. Just as this sweet-and-sour concoction seems to be pushing you towards sleep, you are widely awoken by a sharp kick to the face, as the pain inexplicably turns to sweet pleasure.
Come on now, what are the key flavours?
Smells of mint humbugs, honey, the top of a crème brûlée, dried toothpaste, candyfloss, chestnuts, grapefruit (not in a sour way), sweet cream, savouriness. Tastes of fennel, spiced orange in a jar, sweet bourbon, dentist's mouthwash, sweet & sour, curry.
Seriously though, any good?
It's lovely and sweet and is pretty comparable to a bourbon. It's got a great balance to it and a good mix of flavours. It's not as intriguing as some in that it's a pretty textbook bourbon-style grain whisky, but what it aims to do it does very well. It's got a kick to it, but mostly in good ways, although it's perhaps one notch too much on the kick-o-meter.
In many ways, a textbook grain. I'd be interested in the progression of this as it ages, but it's very drinkable already. If you like your bourbons and are wanting to get into grain whiskies, start here.
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