Such a moment is really important to me. I was about to try oldest malt I ever had (by vintage). This is inter-war Strasthisla 1937 (even my dad wasn‘t still born!). Comparison is always important, especially tasting serious stuff, in my opinion. So I should find something worth a sparring with Strathisla. In my humble samples selection I still had Glendronach 1972. Good reasons to choose it – it is also sherry matured malt. I think Strathisla also could be vatted from malts coming mainly from sherry casks. If not, they have very similar age – 38 and 40.
Anyway I have 2 very nice malts – „from very long time ago“ and „more modern one“. If whisky from 1972s can be called modern..
I‘m starting from Strathisla, as it is bit weaker in strength and more like – slightly more delicate. Freshness is pleasant. I had expectation to get more „damp“ one. Elegant notes of honey, fruits and berries. Palate is bit weak, what isn‘t surprising for so old malt, but still very nice, fresh and full-bodied enough. I‘m sure it had much more power when released. And if it had 46%, I‘m sure I would have even more pleasure now.
After a pause, I take Glendronach. Dark and powerful. I‘m not sure now about casks that Strathisla came from. I‘m not strong in history what was happening these times and if they were using bourbon casks already. So Glendronach is way much different – notes of leather, coffee and chocolate. Interesting thing also – I find lots of sour notes – berries, roses. Are these notes from long maturation? But I had similar notes from younger malts also. Maybe just chemical reactions with sulphur traces? I won‘t be guessing anymore, these malts are to good, so I‘m coming back to them.
And both of them are great. I‘m happy to try them. Special thanks to Tim Forbes for Strathisla! Those malts are exceptional. But only when you ignore the price tag. So I will dare to say that there are so much alternatives. Younger malts from Glendronach aged 18-22 years are still accessible in the market and are giving lots of pleasure for a still decent price. And Michel Couvreur, who was great advocate of sherry casks, still has its legacy left and going.