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Speyside Whisky

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.

Speyside Whisky
A barely believable 1977 (!) Glenlivet from top-notch bottler Wemyss. Astonishing stuff and only 149 bottles available!  More info
$236.07
Glendronach finished in American virgin oak casks.  More info
$66.50
A 15 year old Macduff finished in tiny octave casks. The greater surface to volume ratio in the smaller casks leads to faster interaction between wood, liquid and air. part of an excellent range from...  More info
$122.53
This is a Tamdhu distilled in 1989 and bottled by Mackillop's Choice in 2010. Tamdhu produces malt for the Famous Grouse blend however it is a great single malt in its own right!  More info
A 21 year old spicy, Sherried, toffeed Mortlach? Yes please! Bless those Douglas Laingers (Laingists? Laingites??). Matured in a single Sherry butt, 255 bottles were produced in 2013. Just look at the...  More info
$275.77
A single cask bottling of 21 year old single malt from the Caperdonich distillery, which sadly shut its door in 2002. It has been released as part of the Douglas Laing Old Particular series. Distilled...  More info
$182.90
A 22 year old Linkwood from the indefatigable Duncan Taylor. Sterling stuff. Distilled in October 1990 and bottled in April 2013 with an outturn of 237.  More info
$173.23
An Autumn 2013 Glenfarclas Family Casks release of single malt Scotch whisky. This edition was distilled in 1973 and matured in cask 6056 until it was bottled in 2013 with an outturn of 139 bottles...  More info
$803.94
Cask 101 but not one for Room 101 that's for sure. This one's a keeper - an Oloroso Sherry butt matured 19 year old Glendronach distilled in 1994. 628 glorious bottles were produced at natural cask...  More info
$157.24
Matured for 23 years, including a finishing period in a teeny tiny 50 litre cask, this Mortlach was distilled in 1989 and bottled in early 2013. Only 63 bottles were produced! Thank you Duncan Taylor.  More info
$205.04
A Signatory bottling of Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky, which has spent 16 years maturing in a first fill Sherry butt. To make sure none of those sweet, spicy flavours escaped, it was bottled...  More info
$75.02
A 19 year old peated whisky from BenRiach. It was distilled in 1994, back when BenRiach still had a malting floor, with hogshead 286 yielding just 215 bottles in June 2013.  More info
$135.19
A single cask release of Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky from cask 79239, which happened to be a first fill sherry butt. Distilled in May 1996, and disgorged in May 2013. There was enough for 774...  More info
$82.42
Distilled at The Macallan in 2003, this single malt Scotch whisky was bottled in 2012 under Gordon & MacPhail's Speymalt label.  More info
$54.78
A cask strength scorcher from Signatory. This Longmorn was aged for 20 years before bottling in October 2012.  More info
$110.55
Distilled in 1963 and matured in refill sherry casks, this is a light Glen Grant single malt, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail who suggest this as an aperitif.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$520.53
Not often seen as a single malt, most whisky produced at Inchgower goes to make the famous Bells blend.
This is a 1997 bottling.  More info
$53.14
This was distilled at the Mortlach distillery in September 1991. It was then aged for 21 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling in 2013 for Douglas Laing's excellent Old Malt Cask range.  More info
$135.06
Glenglassaugh closed for a long time, thankfully they have reopened. Interestingly they are releasing whisky that has been sat in oak casks whilst the distillery was closed. This whisky has made its...  More info
$753.26
A sherry butt matured Glenfarclas single cask. This Family Cask bottling was distilled in 1955 and released in 2007.  More info
$1361.67
Housed in a rather fancy ceramic decanter, this 12 year old Braeval was matured for 12 years in a sherry cask. Part of Douglas Laing's nostalgically fabulous Premier Barrel range.  More info
$106.41
A vintage Glen Grant, and a classic Speyside, distilled in 1956 and matured in first fill sherry casks.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$718.29
A 26 year old single cask Cragganmore from Adelphi. Will be astonishing. Definitely.  More info
$155.88
This was distilled at Glen Moray in May of 1994. It was filled into cask number 1877 where it lay for 17 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor in August of 2011 at natural cask strength. A release of...  More info
$134.33
Distilled in 1965, this Macallan was matured in a first fill sherry butt and bottled under Gordon & MacPhail's Speymalt label. Extraordinary stuff.  More info
$1080.13

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