A very interesting composition here – 8 year old Strathmill that spent most of its life in ex-bourbon wood before being subjected to a quick re-rack into an ex-islay (so a peated precursor liquid) wine barrique.
Nose: Peach cobbler and crème patisserie are joined even more crème – brulee and caramel. Nougat and Caramac sit with apricot jam whilst nutmeg and gentle pepperiness run throughout. Reduction introduces a coastal aspect with gentle salinity, alongside overt woodiness from cask char and pencil shavings.
Taste: Plenty of body here with an arrival that’s viscid and quite impactful. Dried peaches and apricots sit with a scattering of cranberries and redcurrants. The ex-islay cask adds a layer of gentle tarriness – felt roofing – as well as strawberry bootlaces and tangy balsamic from the wine precursor. Spices run throughout – cinnamon and nutmeg – both enveloped by milk chocolate. Water adds a lick of saltiness alongside honey and placid tarry smoke.
Finish: Quite long with wood smoke and fading jammy red berry fruit.
Despite being this month’s cheapest bottling (£44.80 and an ‘A dram’ in venues), this Strathmill should not be overlooked. It offers an excellent composition for its relatively youth, and similarly delivers a re-racking which feels both thought-provoking as well as impactful. The wine and the ex-peated spirit both play their parts and provide for an end result that is surprisingly layered and frankly just very tasty indeed. Recommended.