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Whisky Reviews

Strathisla 2002, 17 Year Old, Hidden Spirits, 52.4% ABV



Strathisla 2002 17yo Hidden Spirits (52.4%)

Nose: Melon bread, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, apple compote, lime zest, castor sugar. Water adds a hint of blackcurrant and tamps down the gorgeous maple syrup note. A slight whiff of ethanol permeates but is largely unobtrusive and can be mentally tuned out.

Palate: Very good alcohol integration, just very slightly numbing neat if I nitpick, yet flavours are a bit subdued. Raspberry jam, quince, vanilla macaron, tamarind?, saffron. The saffron comes out more with water.

Finish: Apple juice, blackberries, long tail of watermelon rind and fresh brioche.

Score: 89

In terms of flavour profile and balance this year, it is one of my favourites this year, especially on the nose and finish. Comforting yet wildly original. Still, it seems to need a bit more age to really deepen the flavours and allow further alcohol integration. This beats the Bunna in terms of variety of notes and balance, but I've got to let the Bunna edge this out due to the undercurrent of ethanol on the nose that the Bunna almost totally hides despite much higher ABV. This is 89 on Whiskybase from over 50 users. I can totally see why nonetheless.