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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

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Curiositas is a 10 year old, peated release from the BenRiach distillery in what they call the 'classic Speyside style'. A distinct malt with great depth and a bittersweet balance.  More info
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A heavily peated whisky from the BenRiach distillery. This is at higher than average strength and was distilled from peated malt at 35ppm. The result is at once smoky and very fruity.  More info
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Glen Moray is one of only a few distilleries who still malt their own barley on site and it remains a classic Speysider despite much of its product being used for blending purposes.  More info
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Released as part of Douglas Laing's Single Minded, this is a single cask Dailuaine single malt Scotch whisky. The whisky was drawn from a single Sherry butt, which matured the whisky for 7 long years...  More info
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This comes from Gordon and MacPhail's famous Connoisseurs Choice range, now at the higher bottling strength of 46%abv. It was distilled at the Balmenach distillery in 2004, and was matured in sherry...  More info
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The producers recommend this as an aperitif whisky. It certainly offers more complexity than you'd expect from a 10 year old dram. A lovely, delicate whisky from Glenfarclas.  More info
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A straightforward, nutty and malty single malt from Speyside, the Singleton of Dufftown was released to replace the Singleton of Auchroisk. It’s aged in a high proportion of European oak casks.  More info
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A sherried 12 year old single malt from Diageo's Classic Malts range, this bottling from the Cragganmore distillery represents Speyside and proffers a rich, slightly floral whisky with barley notes.  More info
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This was distilled in Autumn 1999 and aged for 12 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling by Douglas Laing for their Provenance range. A lovely single cask Glentauchers…  More info
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A heavily peated malt for a Speyside distillery, bottled at higher proof, Old Ballantruan is an unusually peated single malt from the Tomintoul distillery.  More info
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Aged in ex-bourbon casks before being finished in sherry casks, Double Wood is an excellent example of what the Balvenie distillery can craft, even at 12 years.  More info
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A very soft 12 year old Speyside dram, distilled at the Glen Elgin distillery.  More info
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A non vintage from the Glenrothes distillery, selected by the Glenrothes Malt Master, John Ramsay. Select Reserve is a great value for money single malt, it exhibits the wonderful spicy house style.  More info
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