By Father John Rayls
This is an unbelievably creative idea: let’s get some of our most creative and scientific whisky loving friends and make the whisky that long forgotten distilleries used to make. We’ll go to Scotland and study all pertinent information from recipes, to grains, to wood, to warehouses, to sources of water from all available historical sources. The idea is terrific, but making it happen is something all together different. The good news is no one can argue about the tasting experience being exactly the same, something similar or completely off track. Regardless, this is a fun and exciting path to go down. According to their website: “The Lost Distillery Company is an independent boutique Scotch Whisky company. We are obsessive about our craft and uncompromising when it comes to whisky quality. Our mission is to create present day expressions of legendary whiskies that belonged to the craft of whisky distilling almost a century ago.” The Stratheden Distillery was situated in the center of the old market town of Auchtermuchty in Fife. It was apparently founded in 1829 by the Bonthrone family and survived three successive generations within the family.
This iteration of Stratheden Scotch from The Lost Distillery Company, bottled at 92 Proof, appears as a very natural scotch with a light gold or pale yellow color. The scotch seems thin, but provides long, reluctant legs everywhere you look in the glass. The highlights are slightly pale appearing almost an off-white. The nose is subtle and filled with light leather and toffee with some very light sweet tobacco found underneath. You may also notice some light alcohol burn when nosing deeply.
A tasting provides a light creamy mouthfeel that brings an interesting combination of light salt and a balancing sweetness. It reminds me of the beauty of the Fall treat of peanuts mixed with Candy Corn only on a much lighter and less intense level and without the overwhelming sweetness. In addition, there is a very nice peppery presence as well that helps maintain the right balance. I wouldn’t say this is a complex scotch whisky, but it does provide a balanced presence of several competing experiences. The finish is of medium length and should be considered mildly peppery and very lightly salty. There is also some very light lingering heat from mid-mouth to the gums and lips that grows slightly over time.
The Lost Distillery version of Stratheden Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is an easy drinking scotch. In fact, it demands to be consumed slowly to actually fully appreciate the mostly subtle tasting experience. It reminds me of a typical approach to an Irish Whiskey tasting. Take your time, think about each aspect of the experience and possibly jot down a few notes. I have not found Stratheden to currently be an easy scotch to track down. However if you find it, it should be priced in the neighborhood of $65.00. The history of this lost distillery makes for very interesting reading, particularly while sipping this enjoyable scotch.