To be honest, I’m not particularly fond of grain whiskies. Yes, there are some delicious examples, but generally speaking the flavour profile of grain whiskies is very narrow, offering not nearly the amount of diversity you’ll find in single malts, or even in other spirit categories.
Starthclyde is a grain distillery based in the Lowlands. A while ago I tried a very similar bottling, both in age as well as in cask type. Admittedly, I quite enjoyed that one. Let’s see if this Strathclyde 2005 10 Years Old from Douglas Laing can also convince me.
Strathclyde 2005 10 Years Old (50,9%, Douglas Laing ‘Old Particular’, C# DL11062)
Nose: There’s the glue again, almost unavoidable in a grain whisky. It’s not an unpleasant aroma, but can sometimes be a bit too dominant. Letting a grain whisky breath for a while often takes care of this, as is the case here. In this particular Strathclyde there’s also room for cherry syrup, some soy, some cigar tobacco, burlap and a burnished note. Very aromatic, even a bit floral at some point, albeit a tad prickly. Taste: Very oily and mouth-coating, with roasted peanut skins, burnt orange peel and some cardamom, pepper and chili’s as well. Finally some milk chocolate and praline. Finish: Lingering on chocolate and soft spices.
This is an interesting whisky, going far beyond your average grain whisky, especially one as young as this one. I like that it still has some of the recognizable qualities of a grain whisky, meaning that the cask doesn’t completely dominate the spirit. Certainly worth trying if you have the chance.