Strathisla 1963 by Gordon & MacPhail

Strathisla 1963 by Gordon & MacPhail

$2,160 AUD

43% 70 cl

Distilled in 1963 and bottled 48 years later in 2011 this Speyside icon comes with a healthy fill well into the neck.

Independent bottlings of Strathisla have been rare, most coming from Gordon & Macphail, and invariably of considerable age, such as this example.

Tasting Notes

Nose: quite fruity and really elegant. A typical mixture of sherry notes (baked apple, raisins, prune jam) with typical rummy notes (green banana, a little Piña Colada). Juicy oranges. Hints of mint and smoke, as well as some silky polished oak. 

Mouth: smooth, less complex, a little less full flavoured as well and definitely woodier. Oily with traces of sherry that are covered in oak. Not overly dry though. Soft banana notes. Orange peel and a hint of salt. 

Finish: pretty long, again not too dry, showing oak spices, leather and dried fruits. 

This product is located in the United Kingdom.


Strathisla Distillery

A distillery with a great history and a few name changes over the years, this is Scotland’s oldest operating unit. It is also one of the most attractive distilleries anywhere in the country and has one of the most carefully documented histories of any of them.

My visit took place at a significant time as the then owners – Seagram – were preparing to celebrate the bicentenary of the founding of the distillery in 1786, as Milltown distillery, by George Taylor. He did so on the basis of a charter granted by the Earl of Findlater and Seafield and was licensed to distil from the start although some illicit activity had no doubt taken place at some time.

Milltown eventually became Milton but the whisky itself had long been known as Strathisla, recalling the wide lush valley in which the distillery and the town of Keith lie. In 1951 the distillery’s name was changed again to the more distinctive Strathisla, no doubt to take advantage of the reputation which the product had built for itself. That was a year after Seagram had acquired it following a number of ownership changes including one that had let to bankruptcy and jail time for the previous owner for tax evasion!

The make became closely associated with Chivas Regal, as continues to be the case following Pernod-Ricard’s purchase of Seagram’s whisky interests in 2001.