Sunday, November 7, 2010

Diageo Dramming part 5 - Strathmill

Strathmill Pagoda's

Strathmill, one of those unknown Diageo's. Blendfodder some would name it.

It's located in Keith, which other distillery, Strathisla, is a bit more known. Strathmill has and is very hard to come by as a single malt. Even the flora and fauna bottling is a bit rare


Strathmill was built in 1891, and the they extended from 2 to 4 stills in 1968. They also added purifiers in 1968. Other places I have seen purifiers are at Glen Grant and Ardbeg

The function of purifiers is to create some extra reflux and make the spirit lighter

Here's some photos I took of the Stratmill purifier system

Strathmill spirit still

The refluxed spirit is entering the still again through the little pipe. The purifer itself was attached quite late in the process, in a small condenser, located just outside the building. I tried to capture it here :

Stratmill purifier

Here's another view of the purifier :

Strathmill purifier

There have been some innovation over time to create lighter spirits at distilleries. Tall still's at Glenmorangie. Triple Destillation at Auchentoshan, weird bends on the lyne arms at Tobermory. One of the more unusual things I have seen was at Fettercairn, where there is a small copper pipe around the upper part of the still with constant running water rinsing the exterior of the still. The colder copper will increase reflux inside the still itself!

This post has become far too nerdy now, so on with the dramming :-)

1. Strathmill 1974 31yo bottled by Mackillop's Choice 43.3%

Distilled 14 May 1974, bottled March 2006. Cask 1210

A very light spirit. It was a bit restrained when I first opened the bottle, but has improved since - it's been open around 2-3 months now. It's dominated by mint and vanilla. Not very intense. It's a very nice whisky, but a bit one dimensional, and you would really expect more wood influence from a whisky this age. The low ABV makes this very drinkable and almost a soft drink :-)

It's a perfect morning dram, I think this would get lost in a tastings if mixed up against other malts. It is a very anonymous dram. Lacks texture and oilyness most of all. But the simplicity got some charm

Rating 83

When I just opened the bottle it was a clearcut (2/5) but here after 3 months open I did consider marking it a 3/5, but somehow I still feeels its far from that. See my ratings explained at the first box top right of the blog

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