Skip to main content

For Dark and Stormy Nights: Try Old Pulteney’s Stroma Liqueur

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Old Pulteney, a Highlands Scotch distillery and widely known as the “Maritime Malt,” is a brand of Scotch whisky made in Northern Scotland, and they have just come out with, for the first time in a long time, a Scotch whisky liqueur, named Stroma.

In Norse, Stroma means “Island in the stream” (surely this would’ve been a favorite of Hemingway had it been around) and is a nod to the vicious waters that surround the island (including the ‘Swilkie whirlpool), which sits off the Caithness Coast, near to where Old Pulteney is made.

Made from a blend of Old Pulteney malt whiskies and “a mix of lighter and more vigorous malt whiskies,” Stroma brings a lot to the table.

Stroma Liqueur
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Appearance: Golden honey in color with a syrupy texture that causes it to practically slide out of the bottle (okay, it’s not that thick, but honey is on the mind with this one).

Nose: Slightly oaky and a little peaty. Overall, the nose is reminiscent of a dry, barrel-aged cider. Caramel, hints of spice, and a little bit of dried fruit assert themselves under these original notes.

Palate: The first and most present thing here is the honey sweetness that immediately coats the tongue. What is extra pleasurable about this scotch whisky liqueur, though, is the amount of Scotchiness that comes through after the sweetness fades. Dry oakiness hums along, warming the gums. Drinking Stroma is a lot like biting into a layer cake. First, you have the sweet outer layer, but are soon consumed with the cake portion—in this case the Scotch—before going back to the sweet inside.

Finish: Candied fruits and honey settles on the tongue and the warmth on the gums fades fairly quickly.

Final Thoughts: With the weather being as extreme as it is in Northern Scotland along the coast, this whisky liqueur makes sense. It’s easy to see someone, in a cliff-side house, sitting with a dram of this on a winter’s night. The fire behind them warms their outside while sips of this—all while staring out into the dark and foreboding sea—warms the soul. For those that want to like Scotch but maybe can’t do the intense peaty smoky flavor, this is a good place to start (or, you know, if you’re a lighthouse keeper).

Old Pulteney Stroma is 35% ABV and retails for around $35.

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
How to grill the steak of your dreams: An aspiring steak master’s guide
Grill up your steak just like a pro with these tips
Sirloin steak on a grill

With summer coming faster than expected, you’re likely firing up that grill every day to cook ribs, grill vegetables, or smoke a brisket. We love them all, but to be frank, nothing beats a perfectly grilled steak. Its succulent, smoky flavor alone is enough to bring your loved ones together for a protein-packed cookout in the backyard. And that makes grilling steak a rewarding culinary experience.

Grill masters have probably mastered the art of grilling. But if you just purchased your first grill or are looking for some beginner-friendly pointers, we’re here to help. We enlisted the expertise of Dusmane Tandia, executive chef at Mastro’s Steakhouse in New York City, for some expert tips on how to grill a restaurant-quality steak. Light up your grill, don your best apron, and read on to learn how to grill a perfect steak.
How to grill the perfect steak

Read more
The iconic Benjamin Steakhouse shares its best meat cooking tips
Executive chef imparts decades of steak cooking knowledge from top NYC steakhouses
Benjamin porterhouse whole

Cooking a great steak requires both technique and practice to get it right. Although it appears straightforward, there are a plethora of choices and decisions that go into proper steak cooking. What's the best cut? How do you season a steak properly? What temperature should the grill be at? For the best advice, why not seek the help of a steakhouse professional?

As a steak expert, Executive Chef Arturo McLeod of Benjamin Steakhouse has a wealth of knowledge on beef. Possessing over 30 years of preparing meat between Benjamin Steakhouse and Peter Luger, McLeod knows his beef. Benjamin Steakhouse is a family-owned restaurant that prides itself on high-quality steaks and fantastic service. Besides New York City, the restaurant has locations in Tokyo, Japan.
Porterhouse, the steakhouse classic

Read more
The secret to gauging meat tenderness is easier than you think
This simple trick is easy to learn
A plate of grilled meat and vegetables on a rustic wooden platter with a black background

Forget temperature guidelines or cooking time constraints. The best way to gauge meat tenderness is by way of an old culinary school trick. Turns out, you don't need much when assessing the doneness of steak. You can detect its status simply by comparing how it feels to certain parts of your hand. Dubbed the touch test, it's a handy way to quickly see how ready your meat is.

We first heard about the test through Dan Thiessen over at Walla Walla Steak Company. He's made a career out of cooking steak and uses the touch test often. What it may lack in exacting precision it more than makes up for in convenience and efficiency. Plus, it doesn't require any tools or expensive gadgetry. It's easy to memorize and a fun little party trick for your next backyard gathering.

Read more