Translation: Valley of Isla
How Jimmy Barclay tricked everyone.
James "Jimmmy" Barclay was a clever boy. And how he acquired Strathisla for Seagram in 1950 is still told today with a grin. Jimmy worked for Chivas Brothers, a daughter of the Canadian whiskey giant Seagram. They asked him to bid for them when Strathisla was auctioned in Aberdeen. Jimmy did, but quickly held back, indicating that the price was already too high. Did not something agree with Strathisla? Did he know something? Jimmy knew his way around, that was known. His reluctance unsettled the other bidders so that Strathisla went after a brief bidding for only 71,000 pounds to a man that no one knew. Almost nobody. It was an acquaintance of Jimmy Barclay, who had bid on his behalf for him ...
A little history
In 1786 George Taylor and Alexander Milne founded the distillery under the name Milltown. In 1830, William Longmore took over the distillery.
1870 renamed the Milltown distillery in Strathisla. In 1876 the distillery was severely damaged by a fire, in 1879 by an explosion - but did not stop production.
In 1890, the distillery changed its name again and was now, as in former times, Milton.
After George Jay Pomeroy, the then owner of the distillery, had to go to jail for tax evasion, Chivas Brothers Ltd. (Seagram) at an auction in 1950 the distillery and called them Strathisla again.
In 1965, the two stills were supplemented by two more.
In 1995, Chivas Brothers and thus Strathisla were taken over by Pernod Ricard. But Strathisla is still an important part of the Premium Blend Chivas Regal.
The distillery is a real gem today and should be a fixture in any Scotland travel itinerary.
What do I actually have in the glass?
The Strathisla Malt has a medium to heavy body and a soft, long finish. In the taste there are notes of fresh hay as well as a variety of spices, candied fruit and often a delicate Nussigkeit. One that can deal with for a long time.
3 reasons to love Strathisla
1) Because Strathisla is more beautiful than any postcard.
2) Because the malt keeps what the distillery sights promise.
3) Because here the world is alright.
The one drama for the lonely island
To taste a malt whiskey from 1960 is an experience as rare as it is enjoyable. Especially when it comes to the deep-dark 1960s Strathisla from the sherry barrel, bottled in 2012 by Gordon & MacPhail. A feast for the senses. But you have to save something ...
numbers and facts
Address: Seafield Avenue, Keith, Banffshire, AB55 5BS
Founded: 1786 by George Taylor & Alexander Milne
Owner: Pernod Ricard
Capacity: approx. 2,400,000 liters
2 wash stills (12,500 l)
2 spirit stills (8,500 l)
Water: Broomhill Spring
Visitor Center: Yes
Telephone: +44 (0) 1542/783044