1969 Strathclyde 48 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1380527

Price: $299.99

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Tasting Notes

Strathclyde distillery is located in the Gorbals on the south side of the River Clyde opposite Glasgow Green and it’s nice to think that an operation so dependent on steam should be located so close to the park where James Watt was struck with inspiration for his vapour-driven engine. The distillery – on the site of an old cotton mill – was initially built by London distiller Seager Evans in 1927 mainly to supply neutral grain spirit for its gins. In 1936, Seager Evans moved into Scotch with the purchase of the Long John brand. In 1957, like many grain distilleries, Strathclyde secreted a malt plant – here called Kinclaith – inside its walls. This ran from 1957 to 1975 when it was removed to make way for a two-phase expansion of the grain/neutral spirit side of the operation. At the same time, the firm’s blending and warehousing site next door was also demolished. Long John Distilleries (as Seager Evans’ whisky division was named) went through a number of hands, eventually ending up within Allied Distillers, by which time Strathclyde would also have been supplying some of the grain to the Ballantine’s and Teacher’s blends. It is now part of the Chivas Brothers stable and still, amazingly, goes unnoticed by the strollers along the banks of the Clyde.

Staff Reviews

  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    K&L Staff Member
    This 48 year old is nowhere near over the hill! Despite the lengthy aging, this is a very easy-drinking, approachable dram arriving to appeal to a wide range of whiskey drinkers. It opens with rich wheat, vanilla bean, nectarine, and dried apricot. On the palate it's pleasantly sweet and spicy with solid leather oakiness. I definitely preferred it with a splash of water which brought out more flavors of apples and stewed fruits.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    It's not every day you get to snag a bottle of 48 year old whisky for just a few hundred bucks. This Strathclyde is unctuous, smooth, and remarkably fruity. It's quite tropical in nature with lots of coconut and pineapple notes to compliment the baked biscuit, vanilla, and caramel that is a given after nearly 5 decades in wood. This is the perfect premium gift for the Scotch lover who has everything. No where else will you find such old grain whisky at such reasonable prices.
  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    This is one of those high-price bottlings that is actually well worth each penny. I couldn't think of anything when I first nosed it, so I said "WOAH" out loud. Like counting the rings on a tree, it almost seems as though you can smell each year of its long ageing in bourbon barrels. Cask Strength at 48%, the whisky is soft, rustic, beautifully concentrated, amazingly complex. Make it your own Christmas gift to yourself.
  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    I don't blame our suppliers and competitors for wanting to try to sell old single grain for $1000+ a bottle. Even though these whiskies are not expensive to produce on an industrial scale they' still represent some of the old stocks of whisky any where in the world and the amount of loss over nearly 5 decades of maturation is unbelievable. More than half of this cask was lost to the angels over 48 years. This bourbon barrel was filled at the Strathclyde distillery in September of 1969. The fact that it's still 48% is astonishing and the proof is absolutely perfect for an old grain like this. For people who have dabbled with some of our more affordable grains this stuff is truly the next level. A lot of the aromatics are similar as you'd see with a 30 year old, but just heightened and concentrated beyond belief. The nose pure toasted coconut, old hardwood, dried mango and salt water taffy. But where this whisky really shines is on the palate. Super supple and soft but not limpid or flat. Deep dense and full of life still this special whisky boasts big vanilla, fresh biscuits, deep roasted vanilla and bits of oak spice. It's not at all hard to imagine why some of these old single grain sell for so much, but part of the fun is making them semi available normal folks. It may not be something you can load up on, but there's no question this is worth well beyond $300 in terms of enjoyment. $12 an oz? You buy every day stuff in a bar for more on the regular. Treat yourself to something that no one else in the world has and stay home 5 more times this year. You'll be making money.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This selection won't last long because of the small amount of bottles that Sovereign was able to bottle from this single cask for K&L and the fact that people like old single malt offerings. The nose is warm and soft with mellow sweet notes reflecting its age. In the mouth it is round, sweet and complex with a hint of wood spice coming through.


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