Located in central Scotland, the county of Perthshire was home to the original Stronachie distillery until its doors closed in 1928, after nearly a three-decade-long run of operations. Independent bottlers AD Rattray purchased an original brand at auction, and with the quiet assistance of Benrinnes, resurrected the brand a few years ago. The core range is an attempt to recreate the original recipe at various ages. Having never experienced the glory of an original bottle, I’m not sure how it compares, but let’s see how the current lineup fares on its own legs.
Stronachie 10 Years Old – Quite sweet on the nose with lots of nougat and honey. Things shift from sweet and malty to rich and spicy on the palate, lots of cinnamon and oak. The oak hangs around for a reasonably brief finish. Rough overall, most likely due to the relatively young age. 86 proof. C+ / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
Stronachie 12 Years Old – A light and inoffensive nose is dominated by vanilla, honey, and banana chips. Pleasant enough, but the palate goes unexpectedly haywire: lots of apple, toasted oak and mead give way to an acrid, medicinal mix of iodine and vinegar refusing to let up. A mix of wet leaves and smoldering campfire smoke on the finish mercifully evaporates and returns to pleasant pastures, with banana and red apple relieving the shock to the system. Quite the “bad cop, good cop” scenario. 86 proof. B / $60
Stronachie 18 Years Old – Beautiful nose of tropical fruit and baked bread which unsteadies itself when adding water, giving way to a mild resemblance of Ceylon tea. Lots of honey and Fuji apple on the palate that isn’t too sweet or soft, but does its job nicely. There’s a medium finish that is quite appealing, full of toasted malt and an accentuation of smoke. Slightly erratic, especially when water gets involved, but a marked improvement over the younger siblings of the bunch. 92 proof. B+ / $80