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The original Stronachie distillery was built in the 1890’s in the Ochil mountains near the Perth & Kinross border. The only road in and out was a treacherous mountain trail that often became so impassable in winter that a private railway line had to be built in order to link the site with the nearest station at Milnathort. The distillery was in production for around 30 years before it was pushed into closure by the rising price of grain and coal and was eventually demolished in the 1930’s.
During its short life, Stronachie achieved a modicum of success, thanks in no small part to a distribution deal with A. D. Rattray, a Glasgow based wine and spirits importer who also specialised in blending the very finest scotch whisky. The company was founded by Andrew Dewar Rattray in 1868 and is owned today by one Tim Morrison (formerly of Morrison Bowmore Distillers), a descendant of Rattray himself.
The story goes that Mr. Morrison once acquired a 1904 bottling of Stronachie at auction and decided that he should breathe new life into this long dead spirit. A sample was drawn from the old bottle and whisky from Benrinnes distillery in Speyside was eventually deemed the best possible match. Thus the Stronachie name was reborn and is now available as both 10 and 18 year old expressions. The 10 year old is bottled at 43% and cost me a very reasonable £33.
Smell: Warm Malt & Biscuit on the nose with Fudge, Heather & Honey.
Taste: Malt & Honey, touch of Pear, Spice and Vanilla.
Value for Money: Excellent value at around £33 a bottle.
An interesting wee dram with good character and a depth of flavour you wouldn’t necessarily expect for such a reasonable price. If it can give us even a tiny inkling of what the spirit from a long lost distillery tasted like then you can count me a fan.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.