The Mad Brewer '99
|The double pagodas of Strathisla.
The pagodas are a remnant from the days when distileries malted their own grain. They are funny looking smokestacks, which were needed a part of the drying/kilning process. Traditionally the grain was dried over a peat fire, which produces lots of smoke, and gave the final product the smokey/peaty flavors and aroma. They stopped malting in 1952.
|Kim and Harry enjoy some shortbread and tea in
the reception room. Very civilized. The oldest distillery in the Highlands.
It's incredibly warm here today, and I'm just wearing a T-shirt.
|Gotta have a sign. If you look real close
you can tell that Strathisla is part of the Chevas group. Others in this group
|The water wheel below the pagodas is quite a
The stillman was not very knowledgable about the mashing process, but seemed to know a lot about distilling side of the business. It's kind of cool that he gets to do part of the tour. The tour is promoted as "Self Guided", but that must be in the Summer season when it's crowded.
|After the tour, we gathered around the tasting room. The bottles in the background with the plain labels are samples of various whiskys which we put through a nosing test.|
|Ken is learing to enjoy his tee.
The lowland malt had a perfumy/estery aroma, the Islay malt had a lot of peat.
|From further off, you can see the old warehouse, where the good stuff ages.|
|The Strathisla single malt has the same aroma as the raw distilled spirit, but much toned down. Sister distillery Glen Keith has a much more assertive aroma, perhaps attributable to the taller stills. Try them side by side.|
|Our tour guide even let us look around in the aging warehouses. It's very cold in the aging cellar. A couple of rows of the Chevas millenium casks are kept here. I wonder if it will be released as a single malt with the Chevas name. Very secret stuff.|
|A better picture of the water wheel below the pagodas, and the colorful garden. Not bad for mid-March in the north of Scotland.|