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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

August 18, 2013


Official and independent
ultra-young Speyburn

Well, one is NAS but that should well mean very young. It comes with one of these sweet, smart, highly melodious and ever-charming Gaelic names the marketing departments are dying for. BTW we're expecting a new official 35yo, that should be something...

Speyburn 'Bradan Orach' (40%, OB, +/-2013)

Speyburn 'Bradan Orach' (40%, OB, +/-2013) Two stars It appears that the name means ‘golden salmon’, let’s only hope this is no fishy bottling (now, that was smart, S.!) Colour: straw. Nose: it’s quite aromatic but we’re all on beer, bread and porridge at first nosing. Baker’s yeast, yoghurt and then a lot of fresh malt. In the background, touches of pineapple and pears, as often in very young malts. It’s far from being unpleasant but you really have to care for fresh cereals. After a few minutes, more fresh mushrooms and (even) more sourness. Mouth: nah, it’s pear spirit with a little roasted malt, breadcrumbs and barley water. It’s not repulsive – at all – but it’s not to be sipped. For cocktails? Finish: of medium length, with the alcohol and touches of pineapple again. Comments: rather immature, not bad at all and certainly not flawed (so we won’t go below 70) but we’re bordering vodka territories in my opinion. Now, the price is 25 Euros, which is more than fair! SGP:430 - 70 points.

Speyburn 7 yo 2004/2012 (46%, Douglas Laing, Provenance, cask #8498)

Speyburn 7 yo 2004/2012 (46%, Douglas Laing, Provenance, cask #8498) Ahem, seven years old? I hope it’s magnificent distillate! Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s a softer and more vanilla-ed version of the official. Raw barley and custard, corn syrup, overripe apples, pears and muesli. Once again, it’s pleasant enough provided you like very young and pretty ‘natural’ malts. After ten minutes: a little more fresh mint and a wee geraniumy side. Mouth: very young, not bad at all, just uninteresting and even a little too hot and spirity. Bitter pears? Does that exist? Becomes even a little acrid and astringent. Finish: long and bitter. Comments: I hope this is not malt whisky’s future. It’s certainly not a bad idea to let us try near-newmakes from various distilleries, but maybe not at 45 Euros a bottle? SGP:351 - 65 points

Where’s the malty cavalry when you need them? Well, it’s coming…

Speyburn-Glenlivet 22 yo (46%, Cadenhead, black dumpy, +/-1985)

Speyburn-Glenlivet 22 yo (46%, Cadenhead, black dumpy, +/-1985) Four stars Colour: straw. Nose: not need to tell you this is a completely different world and proof that Speyburn can be wonderful (not that we weren’t in the know, of course). As always, it’s a little difficult to separate ‘good’ OBE from what was in the whisky in the first place, but this is splendidly metallic and oily, with this feeling of ‘old engine’ (say Aston-Martin since it’s the brand’s 100th Anniversary just now), and then many herbs and nuts. A little patchouli, almonds, barley water, camphor, old herbal liqueur, mint-flavoured tea… The whole’s quite elegant, subtle… Mouth: sure the OBE isn’t perfect here, there are touches of industrial orange juice (the dreadful Fanta) but other than that, it’s very good old malt. Maybe a little lavender as well? Parma violets? There’s even a little peat, it seems. Now, the nose was nicer than this palate, as often. Finish: of medium length, with a curious combo of cranberries and, again, violet sweets. Blood oranges? Comments: this is not perfect but it’s fun and entertaining. The nose was great. SGP:552 - 86 points.

(with many thanks to cavalryman Heinz)







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