StrathislaSingle Malt Whisky
Strathisla is a large-ish Speyside distillery now owned by Pernod under the Chivas Brothers mantle. Pernod acquired Strathisla, along with the rest of the Chivas group,in 2001 when they divvied up the spoils of the Seagram's takeover with Diageo.
Strathisla has long been associated with the Chivas Regal blended whisky, and the visitor centre at the distillery is called Home of Chivas Regal. The distillery itself was completed in 1786 (under the name of Milton or Milltown), making it one of the oldest distilleries from the 18th century still in existence today.
As would be expected, a distillery of such a large age must have seen its fair share of incident. Strathisla has had a fire (in 1876), an explosion in the malt mill (1879) and a dodgy crooked owner going to prison (Jay Pomeroy in the 1940s). This latter resulted in the distillery (which had reverted to its Milton sobriquet in 1890) being declared bankrupt in 1949, after which it was sold at auction to Chivas Brothers, who restored the Strathisla moniker in 1951.
Strathisla was named as one of the possible sources of the controversial Craigduff peated malt that was produced (either here or at Glen Keith) in the 1970s, but the paternity of this experimental dram has yet to be conclusively established.
Strathisla is recognised amongst the cognoscenti as one of only a handful of Speyside malts able to withstand collossal ageing in sherry casks. Fortunately the indefatigable Gordon & Macphail retain good stocks of ancient sherried Strathislas that are relatively affordable and excellent value for those malt-lovers whose tastes tend to the rich and fruity character that this distillery excels at in its older expressions.