Lost Distillery – Stratheden Classic 43%

Stratheden Distillery, from the Auchtermuchty in Fife, was around for approximately 100 years – officially from 1829 – 1926 and quite possibly prior to that as illegal stills. It was purely family owned – the Bonthrone family – whose founder Alexander Bonthrone ran the place from when he established it at 31 years until 1890 – a remarkable 60+ years!

You can read more about the distillery story here…. however our attention turned to the whisky….

Stratheden Classic 43%

  • Nose – It was exceptionally humid, like sniffing a very damp cloth, yet behind that was lots of honey, light yet sharp notes, some citrus, yet that musty almost chalky quality remained. After sipping and leaving it for some time, there was spice with burnt orange
  • Palate – Soft, well rounded, rather a nice mouthful, a hint of dark chocolate, bitter – enough to make one pucker, overall quite subtle
  • Finish – Cinnamon spice with the longest finish of the three whiskies sampled

Overall this was one that wouldn’t stand out as “oh wow!” but went from “Hmm… not so sure about this one” from the aroma to “Hmm… actually rather nice” on the palate to “Oh… hey that’s really rather surprisingly solid” with the finish. And kept improving the longer it was in the glass and the more one sipped.

What do the Lost Distillery folks have to say about it?

Malty, orange peel, chocolate, peat

Here is the Lost Distillery Trio that we sampled:

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Lost Distillery – Gerston Classic 43%

“What was once lost… has now been found!” Or so it would seem.. whisky wise that is! All part of the initiative to re-construct or in their terms “re-interpret” whiskies from lost distilleries closed years ago.

After checking out the Towiemore, we moved on to Gerston – which opened and closed then open and closed again (1796-1882 & 1886-1914). We sampled the Classic version…

Gerston Classic 43%

  • Nose – Pure seaside! Lots of brine, sea salt, caramel, a hint of smoke, toffee covered almonds. The salt spray subdues after time….
  • Palate – Soft, dry, bitter, lots of sweetness too, yet more than anything very dry with some  peat
  • Finish – A spicy finish – much more than anticipated – with lots of cinnamon

What did we think?

Hmmm…. I do believe that one mentioned “Talisker’s bastard child” or an Orkney offshoot…. this from a whisky aficionado who decidedly does NOT care for briney maritime style drams.

However if that’s your preferred style Gerston  might just be up your alley.

Here is what the folks over at Lost Distillery have to say about Gerston:

  • Ripe fruit, toffee, smoke & spice

Here is the Lost Distillery Trio that we sampled:

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Lost Distillery – Towiemore Classic 43%

Once upon a time there was a distillery in the Parish of Botriphnie outside of Dufftown. Whilst on our planet a mere thirty years (1898-1931), Peter Dawson’s endeavour enjoyed “a fine reputation as an excellent pure malt whisky.”

During its scant existence, it was a well travelled… Dawson’s whisky was selected for the pleasure of the Prince of Wales, later George V, on the maiden voyage of HMS Indomitable to Canada in 1907 and Captain Scott took it on his Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1910.

You can read more about Towiemore’s history  on the Lost Distillery website.

What we cared about was the whisky…

Towiemore Classic 43%

  • Nose – Musty, sweet with a hint of leather, lots of apple crumble, ginger bread, caramel tart apple, slightly bitter with a bit of dish rag. After some time pure applesauce morphing into peaches
  • Palate – Nice spice, very easy drinking yet with enough going on to make it enjoyable, lots of red apples, very accessible
  • Finish – Light but there, pleasant yet closes bitter

One of our tasting companions admitted how this whisky was much better than he had expected – particularly on the palate vs what the nose seemed to indicate – particularly from the musty dish rag dimensions.

For most, this was the most accessible and enjoyable of the three Lost Distillery whiskies we tried. A good one to settle down and just imbibe….

Here is how the Lost Distillery folks describe a piece of Towiemore’s story….

Towiemore’s fresh new make spirit was filled predominantly into Sherry Butts, although Hogsheads and some plain oak casks were also used to offer a slightly different variations in character. These casks were stored in a ten-bay range of single storey bonded stores of the traditional style. Once sufficiently matured, these casks were transported by rail to Leith and Glasgow, or to grocers to be sold singularly in the local market. In 1902 Dawson sent an order of eighteen wagons full of casks to Glasgow. This was probably the first batch of Towiemore!

The Towiemore spirit contained in these casks was a distinguished whisky of mid-to-long finish. Cereal notes are present on the nose due to the use of flavoursome barley, with a hint of earthy heather and smoke caused by local peat. The Towie Burn produced a smooth base for the whisky, full of minerals. Vienna Yeast ensured Towiemore was infused with a citrus zest, while the long necks and ascending lyne arms of the stills embodied the whisky with a long finish of walnuts and almonds. Maturation in Sherry Butts produced a surge of creamy sherry taste coupled with lucid notes of fruitcake and sweet spice.

Here is the Lost Distillery Trio that we sampled:

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