Production at The Speyside Distillery started in 1990. The distillery took its name from the original distillery of the same name, located in Kingussie, which was operational from around 1895 – 1911. The distillery currently uses Concerto barley, sourced from Crisp Malt, Portgordon. Normally unpeated, but peated distillation takes place for a small amount of time each year (December).
The distillery uses a wide range of casks. The majority of these are American ex-bourbon barrels, but they also use casks sourced from Spain, Portugal and France.
The distillery now only produces single malt, and all samples (casks and marriages) are reviewed and approved for bottling by the Management team – Patricia Dillon (MD), John McDonough (CEO) and other team members are involved in the process.
The below notes are taken from my participation in the Speyside Distillery tweet tasting, hosted by The Whisky Wire.
“The first-ever peated distillery bottling from Speyside Distillers. Produced from peated barley, which the distillery only used for a small amount of time each year. 100% matured in bourbon barrels, & bottled at 46%, non-chill filtered and with no added colouring. A limited release of 18,000 individually numbered bottles.” – Speyside Distillery
Cask: Bourbon Bottles: 1,500 Available from the Spey Snug for £50.00
Appearance: Diluted white wine, almost no colour.Hairline tide mark and no legs on my glass, a few droplets
Nose: Oh yeah, great abv waves on the nose. Very sweet for a peated (in a good way), as well as the bonfire embers and smouldering cardboard, there’s a real presence of sweet sugary/honey-coated fruit. There’s a meaty quality too, chargrilled steak, those really gnarly blackened and caramelised bits of meat.
Palate: Wow, another uncompromising smack in the mouth of flavour(s). It’s not the peat that I get first, it’s the sweeter fruit flavours and chocolate. THEN I get the peat following up. Lovely balance and great in CS form! Biscuit base lemon meringue pie, some spicier notes too: chilli heat, white pepper and clove.
Finish: Salted caramel, BBQ meats and smoke, honey and chilli heat.
Overall: I’m torn between this and the tawny port as my favourite from the 5 expressions. I think the CS element has a lot to do with it but I REALLY love the bold flavours and balance of both. Really lovely whisky
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Intro copy from The Whisky Wire/Speyside Distillery