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

May 10, 2023


WF's Little Duos, today Glen Spey again

One of those smaller names that we always love tasting and that often hide many surprises. Let's remember that Glen Spey's stills are fitted with purifiers that are supposed to increase reflux, thus making a lighter spirit. Now Ardbeg is fitted with purifiers too, but I don't think they're always on. Do they still use them? Weren't they broken at some point?

Glen Spey
Glen Spey Distillery in Rothes (



Glen Spey 11 yo 2010/2022 (57.4%, James Eadie, 1st fill bourbon hogshead, cask #804713, 323 bottles)

Glen Spey 11 yo 2010/2022 (57.4%, James Eadie, 1st fill bourbon hogshead, cask #804713, 323 bottles) Three stars and a half
We've often noticed that James Eadie were excellent wood technologists who would manage to produce something extremely palatable out of some moderately entrancing distillates. And yet they never reek of PX, extreme vanillin or simply sawdust/plank juice. Colour: gold. Nose: really on mashes, turnips, beers, leaves (fig, tomato) and capsicum. Not a very easy nose shall we say, but water may help. With water: rhubarb peelings, parsnips, artichoke, a little low wine… Mouth (neat): a little hot, with some very tart lemonness and some grass juice. Grass juice used to be all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s, there were even bars. Not too sure what happened. With water: there, we tamed it, some sweetness coming out (green pears), also even more grass, green pepper, grape skins, sorrel… Finish: rather long, still very grassy, very 'Glen Spey'. The aftertaste is rather on vanilla indeed, and sweet beer, IPA, grapefruit… Comments: not an easy baby, I would say. The hogshead had a lot of work to do.

SGP:371 - 84 points.

Let's try an older ex-refiil… This one is new!

Glen Spey 32 yo 1989/2022 (60%, WhiskySponge, refill hogshead, 114 bottles)

Glen Spey 32 yo 1989/2022 (60%, WhiskySponge, refill hogshead, 114 bottles) Five stars
Vincent Van Sponge on the label. Imagine the Sponge had to bring this one down from 65% to 60%, after 32 years in wood. I would suppose it was stored in Kentucky (doubt it, ha) or pretty high in a modern racked warehouse, just below the roof. Those 114 bottles were all what was remaining in this 'hot cask'. Ah, yes, remember, in hot and dry climate, water evaporates faster and alcohol goes up, while in cold and damp ones, alcohol evaporates faster and the strength goes down. Well, more or less. Colour: gold. Nose: there certainly is a grassy and mashy side to this older one, but frankly and even if they decided to reduce it a wee bit, it's still hot and a little brutal or unpolished. Let's bring it further down, even if some softer touches of green bananas and melon skin are starting to pop out. With water: fruit bread! And many fruit peelings, greengages, bananas, pears, gooseberries, apples, white peaches… Touches of mashed carrots and turnips too. Mouth (neat): ha, distilled IPA! I'm reminded of Brewdog's cold-distilled beer, but of course this is way better, if indeed, too hot. Lime and lemon fighting each other. With water: there, civilisation. Tight lime, spearmint, yuzu and those wee beasties the finger limes (we grow our own at WF Towers), the whole getting then softer, more on puréed mangos for example. It's great fun to work on this one with your faithful pipette, it shouldn't be rushed as all the fruits would only join bit by bit. Finish: medium, fruity, getting frankly tropical. Lime fighting back in the aftertaste. Comments: excellent, but again, take your time.

SGP:661 - 90 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glen Spey we've tasted so far







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