By Richard Thomas
For most, the Scotch liqueur is synonymous with Drambuie, and with pretty good reason. But it’s not the only liqueur around based on Scotch whiskey, let alone on single malt whisky. Old Pulteney has Stroma, and it’s the first honey liqueur I had it seriously competes with Wild Turkey’s classic American Honey.
Stroma takes its name from the rugged Caithness coastline, and translates to “island in the stream.” Old Pulteney used to have a whisky liqueur that had a small, but devoted following, and Storma is the revival of that classic. Like most liqueurs, it is bottled at 35% ABV. This is stronger then the old version used to be, if not as strong as Drambuie.
In the glass, Stroma has a dark golden look bordering on light amber. The nose his malty and full of honey, just a drop of saline. On the palate it is thick, and given what it tastes like, one would be forgiven for suggesting that it is honey thick. Once again, it’s a brew of maltiness, honey sweetness and just a little salt, now joined by a light brushing of spices. The finish leaves little beyond the oily coating of the tongue.
Storma is fine taking neat or on the rocks. However, as a Scotch liqueur I think as important a part of its test is how it does in a Rusty Nail, in this case a cocktail made with single malt in place of blended whisky. The answer there is “superbly,” making this an excellent choice to serve as a foundation for an upscale malt plus malt Rusty Nail.
In Britain, Stroma is available for 18, but that is in 50cl bottles. In the US, it comes in 750ml bottles and costs $35.