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Review

Strathearn
Oaked Highland Gin

Distillery

Strathearn Distillery, Methven, Perthshire, Scotland, U.K.

Website

Strathearn Distillery

History

Hailed as the smallest commercial distillery in Scotland, Strathearn Distillery opened in late summer 2013, some 215-years after the previous distillery had opened in the Methven area. The business started back in 2010 when current Directors Tony Reeman-Clark and David Lang (along with brand ambassador David Wright) discussed the possibility of opening a distillery. A company, The Whisky Garden Ltd., was established in the fall of 2010 and a plan of action started – taking until the beginning of 2013 for all the permissions to be obtained, before the stills could be ordered. The final license, to make and sell the liquor, was eventually issued to the distillery at the end of summer 2013.

The distillery is based in a building of a renovated 160-year old farmstead, where they have sought to recreate the style of farm distilling from the 1700’s, by using equipment (including the stills), materials and methods from the era. Today they produce Whisky (available from 2016) and a range of Gins, while providing tours and spirit-making workshops: Gin across a half or full day experience and Whisky across 1, 3 or 5 daylong courses.

Production

The distillery has two copper alembic stills: a 1,000-litre (265 Gallon) wash still and 500-litre (130 Gallon) spirit still. These Hoga stills have been handcrafted by Galician coppersmiths in Salvaterra de Miño, Spain (near the Portuguese border) and are more traditionally used for the production of spirits like Calvados, Cognac, Eau-De-Vie and Pisco. The Moorish styled domed shaped heads on top of the stills have been made larger than usual to provide greater reflux (the curves allowing alcohol vapor to condense on the surface and fall back into the pot of the still, creating a form of continuous distillation usually achieved with a column still) and create a higher level of alcohol purity in the finished spirit. It is believed these are the only stills of this type and style to be found in Scotland.

Using local grain and botanicals where possible, the Gin is made in small batches with each stage of the process being hand crafted, including the bottling and corking. It is aged in Whiskey barrels and infused with oak chips. The resultant golden yellow colored Gin is presented in a clear squat cylindrical glass bottle, with flat round shoulders. It has orange and black colored text and images screen-printed on the bottle, including the icon bird of prey that makes up the distilleries logo.

Category

Barrel Aged Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$ - $$$$$. Not available in the USA, try Master of Malt in the UK but expect to pay an additional 40% for shipping. 

Botanicals

Unknown but includes juniper berries.

Name

Named because it is aged in whiskey barrels with oak chips, in Scotland (part of which is referred to as the “Highlands”).

Tasting Notes

On the nose are juniper and citrus with floral aspects plus a hint of smoky caramel and vanilla. On the palate this silky spirit has juniper notes with malted barley and oak (similar to Whiskey) plus vanilla, citrus and some smokiness. On the close the oaked juniper continues with some almond and light sweetness coming through.

This is quite reminiscent of Whiskey and one can imagine it as a descendent of Whiskey from ancient Scotland, when it was flavored with juniper. It makes for a great after dinner sipping Gin taken neat over ice with an orange garnish. In a Gin and Tonic more sweet caramel notes can be found. Unfortunately we have only been able to sample a small amount of this Gin but have found it to be a good barrel aged sipping Gin and look forward to trying more in the future. We have no hesitation in recommending this Gin accordingly.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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