Speyside whiskies are among Scotland’s lightest, sweetest single malts. Age often brings a bit more body and the profusion of heavily sherried whiskies from the region exhibit superb power. Though a comparatively small appellation, Speyside has, by some distance, the vast majority of Scotch whisky distilleries. Indeed there are eighty-four working distilleries, including the world’s best-sellers: The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glen Grant and The Macallan.
The Speyside style has altered over time, a traditional Speyside single malt would be more akin to a Highland whisky, with a definite robustness and a marked peat. More recent expressions are lighter, sweeter whiskies; honeyed and fine. Lacking the peat of Islay or the Highlands, the ozone and salinity of coastal malts or the dry, perfume of the Lowlands; Speyside whiskies are sweet and subtle. There is however, no hard and fast rule as to the characteristics of Speyside whisky, for more than half of Scotland’s distilleries are to be found in this sub-region of the Highlands.
Older variants, particularly from those powerhouse distilleries: Macallan and Glenfarclas are often well-sherried, thick drams. There is a tendency to steer away from heavily finished whiskies, indeed most are matured in either ex-bourbon or ex-sherry casks. A heavily sherried Speyside single malt to be the perfect companion to a medium-bodied cigar, and a particularly well-aged expression can be the utmost of postprandial swigs.
Some of the light, youthful Speyside whiskies, perhaps from Allt-á-Bhainne or Glen Elgin, are charming and delightful. There is a low mineral content in the waters of Speyside, lying on the Grampians, with their granite content proffering soft waters. As a rule, the whiskies are either very low or totally devoid of peat, there is not a great abundance of it locally, though it has been used with some successful results in the cases of BenRiach and Tomintoul’s Ballantruan respectively.
In stock (can be backordered)
Nose: Creamy, like melted vanilla ice-cream. Fruity and honeyed.
Palate: Fresh juicy apples and oranges before sherry kicks in with supple sultanas and vanilla.
Finish: Intricate with chocolate raisins and oily caramel notes.
Only 2 left in stock
Nose: A'bunadh gives aromas of mixed spices, praline and spiced orange harmonising with rich, deep notes of Oloroso sherry.
Palette: orange, black cherries, dried fruit and ginger spiked with dark bitter chocolate and enriched with sherry and oak. Full bodied and creamy. Robust and intense with bitter-sweet notes of exotic spices,this Aberlour has a dark chocolate and oak finish.
Nose: Inviting, with notes of white peach, soft raisins, orange cream, vanilla and fresh linen. A fantastic nose.
Palate: Some cereal gristiness on the palate, but well-integrated and still light with floral touches. Fresh apricots and fondant fancies.
Finish: Mint choc chip ice cream. Every word is important there.
Nose: Heavy slabs of milk chocolate, with touches of almond and Christmas cake.
Palate: Intense. Dried fruit notes are turned up to 11, and are joined by dark chocolate truffle and herbaceous cigar box elements.
Finish: Very long. Subtle peppery hints hide underneath the Sherried peels and coffee bean notes.
Nose: Cereal, fruit salad, vanilla, citrus, peach. Very inviting.
Palate: Herbaceous, vinous (Riesling and Chardonnay), syrupy orchard fruit, biscuit, fresh orange blossom.
Finish: Sultana, citrus, malt, light and lingering.
Nose: The aroma is rich with notes of tropical fruits, namely passion fruit, and creamy toffee.
Palate: Sweet vanilla forms a creamy palate with notes of apples and mangoes with a hint of orange in the background.
Finish: The finish lingers with a vanilla focussed character.
Overall: Mouth-coating and fruity with superb balance, this is an excellent new release from the chaps at Balvenie.
Nose: Sweet, malty aromas with a gentle earthy smokiness in the background. Vanilla fudge and cinnamon.
Palate: Golden syrup contrasted with smoke. Sharper citrus notes alongside creamy vanilla and honey, fade into warming cinnamon and ginger spices.
Finish: A lingering finish of delicate smoke and spicy honeyed sweetness.
Nose: Round and complex with a gentle development of floral honey. Nutty and oily with allspice aplenty.
Palate: Warming and rich. A sweet honey develops, vanilla, a hint of cigar leaf with nutty Sherry and a faint hint of smoke or malty peat.
Finish: The finish is long and honeyed, subtly fading away with floral and fruity hints.
Overall: A rich, complex and quite beautiful Balvenie.
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