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The Mad Brewer '99


Start Over
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San Francisco
On the Road Again

London Town

The Brit
Number 22
Tanners Hall
Vane Terrace
Music Maker

Spring Thing
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Castle Eden
More Casks to Empty

Pause that refreshes

Northern Beauty

Whisky Madness
Dallas Dhu
Soup Factory

Real Festival

Get me to the Minster on time

Farewell to Real Ale

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.

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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.

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Gotta have a sign.  If you look real close you can tell that Strathisla is part of the Chevas group.  Others in this group include:

Glen Keith
Glen Grant

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The water wheel below the pagodas is quite a site.

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.

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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. strathisla_harry_kim_ken.jpg (30061 bytes)
Ken is learing to enjoy his tee.

The lowland malt had a perfumy/estery aroma, the Islay malt had a lot of peat.

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From further off, you can see the old warehouse, where the good stuff ages. strathisla_sign.jpg (19992 bytes)
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. strathisla_tasting_bar_2.jpg (28487 bytes)
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. strathisla_tourguide_kim_harry.jpg (31009 bytes)
A better picture of the water wheel below the pagodas, and the colorful garden.  Not bad for mid-March in the north of Scotland. strathisla_water_wheel.jpg (35794 bytes)