Lucked out and found a liquor store going out of business and got a nice buy on several single malts, one of which I just sampled, to wit:
Chivas Brothers Strathisla Pure Highland Malt Scotch Whisky, 12 year old, 43% ABV (which also happens to be the prime constituent of Chivas Regal 12)
My initial take agrees fairly well with a lot of reviews that I just read - a very good (75 to 85) rating - and more to the point, fairly smooth after the first taste, oaky, very mildly sweet, and some hints (hints!!) of peat, or at least wood smoke with a nice complex finish.
More later - (Love the old style flat bottle - so old the cork disintegrated, its a shame the aging stops once it's taken from the cask and bottled in glass - and most importantly I got it for about 60% of the cheapest store around and as much as 40% of some web sites)
The above was posted 29 December 2012 - below is the update as of todays posting:
Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch comments:
House Style - Dry, fruity. After dinner.
COLOUR - Full, deep gold.
NOSE - Apricot. Cereal grains. Fresh, juicy oak.
BODY - Medium, rounded.
PALATE - Sherryish, fruity. Mouth -coating. Teasing sweet-and-dry character
FINISH - Smooth and soothing. Violets and vanilla.
NorvellHimself’s take before reading Michael Jackson:
- amber to deep golden brown, slightly oily with nice bite of alcohol, not too strong - just letting you know that it’s whisky with hints of wharf flavor – when I hear reviewers say ‘tarry taste’ it brings to my mind a downer connotation but the Strathisla hints at tarred notes in a mild odour kind-of-way a visual kind-of-way and I imagine poor young kids in the deep south of yesteryear taking fragile tar bubbles from the sleek hot macadam road and tasting them with their tongues onto them – more a mild atavistic memory of flavor of tar – as I swallow the nice liquor a bit to quickly it catches in my throat as a long dying ember of finish – this is just a great whisky with my mind flowing to the sight and nose-taste of long wide tendrils of brown kelp curing in the sun at the Mointeach (mon-yuck as the old Gaelic ones say) – this whisky is not flavours of sweetness (although overtures of mild honey are there) of fruits but a whisky with an earthiness of life moving me to a higher awareness of the usquebaugh of the highlands.
Well other than in score I don’t seem to agree much with Michael Jackson, eh?