Google Speysidey Stuff Until Defeat

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


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

August 31, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Speysidey Stuff
Until Defeat 
Blended malts, anonymous Speysiders etc. There’s no shortage of the stuff these days amongst the indys. Let’s try to fight our way through a large pile of the things today. But first, a suitable and vaguely ironic aperitif…


Glenfarclas 10 yo 2008/2018 (58%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 264 bottles)

Glenfarclas 10 yo 2008/2018 (58%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 264 bottles)
Ironic only because so many of the older ‘anonymous’ Speysides are often assumed to be Glenfarclas, whereas this young one is out and proud and will be the only named distillery in today’s flight. I know, I know. More barrel scraping than one of Diageo’s rejuvenated hogsheads. But onwards we must go! Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: cut grass, slightly spiritous, chalk, barley water, paint thinner and touches of wet plaster and limestone. It’s clean and pure but it’s extremely raw and youthful as well. With water: hello? Baking soda, crushed aspirin, damp grains. Hard to grasp. Mouth: raw barley, gravel, newspaper, touches of glue, lemon peel - funny stuff! A lick of cardboard as well along with some plain porridge oats and more grassy qualities. New make and pear drops evolving towards acetone. With water: get’s a little nicer, some soot, lemon peel, barley water again and some vapour rubs. Still a bit tough I’m afraid. Finish: very short. A puff of plain breakfast cereal wrapped in cardboard and its gone. Comments: Bottled a mere one or two decades too soon in my wee book. A cask that has left the distillate literally nowhere to hide can be an amazing thing if the distillate is up to the task, but I’m not convinced that’s the case here.
SGP: 241 - 74 points.



Not a great start. But it means we should in theory be on an upward trajectory…



Undisclosed Speyside 11 yo 2007/2019 (60%, Berry Brothers for Whisky + Beijing 2019, cask #13917)

Undisclosed Speyside 11 yo 2007/2019 (60%, Berry Brothers for Whisky + Beijing 2019, cask #13917)
Theoretically this one should be from the ‘second best’ distillery in Rothes… Colour: gold. Nose: from one stylistic extreme to the other. Here we’re very much in ‘active’ wood territory with lots of bubblegum, varnish, pink peppercorns, sawdust, hot workshops, curry leaf, pencil shavings and putty. A pretty unlikely mix I have to say, but it’s not without its charms. With water: hot paprika, sunflower oil and plywood. Mouth: Indeed. Varnish, pepper, strong black tea, wood extracts, a few herbal cough medicine notes and pine air freshener. I’m struggling with this one a little. With water: rather brutal, getting lopsided towards varnish, green wood astringency and peppery heat now. A touch of sourness as well. Finish: short, some red chilli heat, some sawdust and a little vanilla syrup. Comments: I’m very sorry, but I’m just not a fan of this either, we’ve swung from austerity to excess. However, this does still technically count as upwards…
SGP: 341 - 76 points.






Speyside #2 25 year old Batch 1 (51.6%, That Boutique-y Whisky Co, 2415 bottles)
This one is another single malt but not much info on distillery of origin. Colour: straw. Nose: the danger with trying these things after whiskies like the first two is that you can get carried away. For example we appear to have warped comfortably into another galaxy in terms of quality here. Lots of honey and butter on brown toast, pollens beeswax and touches of chamomile and green teas. Some pineapple jelly, lemon curd and sweet glazed pastries. Very lovely! With water: hessian, cider apples, mead, salted butter, lime leaf and some delicate ointments. Mouth: seriously, this is really lovely! A prickle of wood spice then crystallised papaya and mango chunks, ripe banana, star fruit, orange oils, camphor, touches of hessian and wax. Wonderfully honeyed, lightly tropical, the perfect bit of spice keeping things lively and fresh in the mouth. Embarrassingly pleasurable. With water: excellent development. Warming spices, heather, some fruity new world IPA, more hessian and things like lanolin and lamp oil. Still perfectly fruity. Finish: good length, some slightly bitter herbs emerging along with putty, yellow plums and dry farmhouse cider. Comments: I’m still paranoid that a large part of my enjoyment here is magnified by the mirage of lopsidedly beneficial comparison. So, with that in mind, I’m going to be extremely cruel and dock it a single point. I’m sorry Boutique-y.
SGP: 651 - 89 points.



A Speyside Distillery 26 yo 1992/2018 (51.5%, Archives, cask #1408806, bourbon barrel, 250 bottles)

A Speyside Distillery 26 yo 1992/2018 (51.5%, Archives, cask #1408806, bourbon barrel, 250 bottles)
Another unnamed single malt. Colour: straw. Nose: we’re in a similar ballpark to the Boutique-y (obviously Angus - it’s called ‘Speyside’), but this time it’s more towards green fruits such as apples, pears, gooseberry, underripe banana and a hint of pineapple. There’s some sunflower oil, very light medical notes, herbal teas, runny honey, fruity muesli and freshly made breads. It’s not really possible that anyone could be against such an open, easy and inviting profile if you ask me. With water: evolves more towards breads, light lemony yeasty notes, autolytic qualities and some fruit scented tobaccos. Sometimes you get a feeling a whisky was captured at a perfect age and I get that sense here. Mouth: Zap! Perfectly fruity, alive, even now slightly tropical with more pineapple, mango and a little passion fruit. Lime, lemon barley water, cough sweets, white flowers, bergamot, floral teas, orange peel and dried mint. Just superb! With water: perfect! The texture becomes fuller and more oily. There’s a perfect balance between ripe fruits, white pepper and cereal aspects. Annoyingly enjoyable. Finish: medium in length but full of honey, ripe banana, star fruit and hints of plums, cereals, lemon cordial and elderflower. Comments: Ok guys, I give up, what’s the distillery? My guess would be Lagavulin…?
SGP: 641 - 90 points.



A Speyside Distillery 26 yo 1992/2019 (51.9%, Archives, cask #1408809, bourbon barrel, 269 bottles)

A Speyside Distillery 26 yo 1992/2019 (51.9%, Archives, cask #1408809, bourbon barrel, 269 bottles)
Ok, so a sister cask I think it’s safe to assume. Colour: straw. Nose: very similar. Which cannot be bad news. Only here there are perhaps a few more touches of stone fruit such as lychee and plum. More fruit eau de vies and concentrated extracts. Herbal resins, fruit cordials, elderflower, lemon cough drops. But a similar degree of cereal/autolytic/bready aspects. Is it possible for a whisky to give the impression of youth and maturity simultaneously? Answers, as ever, in the post to Serge please. With water: leafier, greener, fruitier, lots of meadow flowers, ripe apples, grass, some mineral notes and hessian. Mouth: shut the fridge door! This is superb! Waxed canvases smothered in olive oil, sweet cereals, herb butter, lime zest, camphor, putty, mead, crystallised tropical fruits. Similar profile to the previous one but I’d say we’re even up a rung on the ladder of concentration and quality. With water: it doesn’t quite ‘flesh out’ in the same fashion as its sibling, instead there’s an added nervousness and tension to proceedings. Sharper, more peppery, more cereals, waxes, herbs - a clearer division of flavour. Finish: similar length but warmer, more peppery, more herbal, a tad sooty, waxy and with some nice easy fruitiness. Comments: I’ve been writing notes for quite a few Archives bottlings recently and, honesty Whiskybase, I think it’s time we talked about which specific model of widescreen television I’m looking for…
SGP: 651 - 90 points.



Speyside 27 year old 1991/2018 (48.8%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 318 bottles)

Speyside 27 year old 1991/2018 (48.8%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 318 bottles)
I could make up some story about how, despite my initial statement that the Glenfarclas we had at the start would be the only named distillery we’d have today and, in my cool and cavalier attitude, I’d decided that - to hell with it - we’ll have this one from Speyside Distillery as well! However, I think we all know that what happened was that I didn’t properly check my samples before commencing this tasting. So, here we are, Speyside Distillery everyone… don’t all rush at once now. Colour: pale gold. Nose: a pure and rather polished cereal character to begin. Brown bread, nutmeg, quite a bit of cinnamon powder and chopped hazelnuts in muesli. Easy, pleasant and perfectly lovely but a tad boring as ever with this imaginatively titled distillery. Mouth: the first thing you notice is that the texture is oddly thin. While there’s plenty nice notes of orange juice, barley water, heather ale, putty, green tea and plain toast. Again this is all perfectly serviceable, mature malt whisky - it’s just that you get a little lost in the valleys of Glen Boring. Finish: medium in length, plenty of crisp cereals, some butter, a touch of sunflower oil and a few more tea notes. Comments: Nice weather we’re having isn’t it…
SGP: 441 - 83 points.



A Speyside Distillery 28 yo 1990/2019 (50.9%, Archives, cask #18001, hogshead, 207 bottles)

A Speyside Distillery 28 yo 1990/2019 (50.9%, Archives, cask #18001, hogshead, 207 bottles)
Apparently this one also hails from the town of Rothes. Please insert your own salmon jokes. Colour: oaked white wine. Nose: lime leaf, tobacco, overripe plums, fig, ointments, mineral oil. A rather unusual but excellent and vivid profile at first nosing. Hints of leather, orange marmalade with coriander, pistachio, dried mixed herbs. There’s aspects of it which feel kind of sherry-derived, even though it is evidently not a sherried whisky. There’s also a rather distinct note of crème de menthe, rosewater and orange cordial. Very syrupy and concentrated in style. With water: gets quite waxy and sooty now, greasy notes of canvas, chalk, pebbles, oily rags and olive oil. Unusual but extremely good. Mouth: surprisingly old school with these rather fat and oily mineral / waxy qualities. Reminiscent of some Ben Nevis or even an old greasy Cadenhead Dumpy with this specific metal polish / old highland’s style profile. Really excellent! Get’s a little sweeter with candied fruits, wood resins and lightly bitter citrus piths. With water: superb texture with water. Fat, greasy, waxy, full bodied and weighty. Mineral oils, herbal teas, fruit resins, medicines and hessian. Finish: long, citrusy, lightly medical, perfectly drying, waxy, peppery and mineral. Comments: Seriously? Rothes? Ok Whiskybase, I think the Samsung QE82Q950R 82 inch should do the trick. And I’ll need a slightly bigger apartment to fit it in as well if you don’t mind…
SGP: 462 - 91 points.



A Speyside 43 yo 1973/2017 (52.2%, Whisky-Doris, cask #12, sherry butt, 221 bottles)

A Speyside 43 yo 1973/2017 (52.2%, Whisky-Doris, cask #12, sherry butt, 221 bottles)
Many such bottlings have emerged in recent years and, in my wee book, almost all have been very good. Colour: gold. Nose: a familiarly profile that’s both exquisite and exotic. Boasting an embarrassment of ripe fruits, waxes, honeys and pollens. Overripe banana, mango, pineapple syrup, fruit teas, plum jam, hessian, melon and putty. The kind of gooey, enveloping, syrupy, tropical concentration you can just close your eyes and sink into. With water: beeswax, pollens, wildflowers, carbon paper, dried mint, eucalyptus resins, light chalky notes and some fruity IPA beers. Fantastic. Mouth: what’s often so great about these casks is how the fruity abundance of the nose is often matched by the freshness of the palate and that’s once again the case here. Although it feels oddly a little lighter than the strength suggests, it’s green, lively and full of olive oil, butter, candied tropical fruit chunks, syrups, waxes and concentrated fruit cordials. Retains that wonderfully syrupy texture that the nose kind primed you for. With water: lemon cordial, elderflower liqueur, herbal teas, jasmine and even a little cannabis funk. Finish: long, very herbal, fruity, lightly earthy, hints of fruity tobaccos, citrus peels, green fruit cordials and a tiny peppery nibble from the wood. Comments: Make sure you add one of those wee cocktail umbrellas to your glass when you drink this stuff.
SGP: 651 - 91 points.



Glenfarclas 37 yo 1970/2008 (46%, Simon Brown Traders, ex-bourbon cask)

Glenfarclas 37 yo 1970/2008 (46%, Simon Brown Traders, ex-bourbon cask)
Let’s booked this rather nonsensical session with another Glenfarclas. Simon Brown Traders is a little known (well, outside Germany at any rate) German bottler/merchant. Colour: amber. Nose: quite a departure from everything else we’ve had today. Really more towards stewed dark fruits, molten chocolate, damp earth, tobaccos, sweet liquorice, hessian, wild strawberries, hawthorn and earl grey tea. Elegant, leathery, lightly sooty and earthy in a rather broad and sumptuous fashion. Blind I’m sure I’d have said sherry rather than bourbon. Very good so far. Mouth: opens with a similarly bold earthiness but also adds medicine, dried herbs, pot pourri, dark fruit jams, hardwood resins and wildflowers. Quite a deep and resinous profile with a few interestingly complicated offshoots of flavour. There’s a bready and rather stodgy texture to it with some notes of meat stocks, wax and juniper. Plenty more tobaccos, leathery notes and a more bitter chocolate streak now. Finish: Long, drying, bitter herbs, dark chocolate, hints of soy sauce and salted caramel. Comments: Are we sure this wasn’t from sherry casks? Anyway, a very fine old Glenfarclas. On reflection there are quite a few aspects that feel rather like good old Cognac to me - make of that what you will.
SGP: 461 - 89 points.



Once again, big thanks to Dirk!










Whiskyfun's Home