Clan Speyburn and the Clan Cask


Clan Speyburn and a wonderful single cask

There have been many things happening at Speyburn this month. As well as launching brand new packaging for their core expressions, the 10yo and the Bradan Orach, they have also revamped their website and introduced ‘Clan Speyburn’.

Firstly to the new packaging. It’s pretty sexy to be honest, as you can see above, and the bright emerald green packaging of the 10yo is unmistakeable. The labels are a lot less fussy and busy than the old ones which is always a big plus in my book. From an average punter’s point of view, I wouldn’t want to be confused or distracted by too much writing on the front of the bottle when I’m presented with a wall of whisky bottles/boxes in a shop. I’m a fan of keeping it simple and bold, a bit like Hoban’s chat up lines. Thumbs up on the first part. The new website is also squeaky clean, easy to navigate and very informative. Some cool flashy gimmicks and plenty of nice pictures keep even me (with the attention span of a new-born goldfish) amused and entertained for a good wee while. Check it out here. Thumbs up for the second part.

Now onto Clan Speyburn. This represents the distillery’s first big venture into the online community, whereby lovers of the Speyburn liquid can sign up and be privy to a host of exclusive bits and bobs. Members will receive a welcome pack which includes a pin badge and a regular newsletter called “The Gibbet” which will contain all the latest goings on at Speyburn. Most excitingly, they will also be given the chance to purchase exclusive bottlings only available to Clan members, the first of which will be released sometime later this year. Well when I say only available to Clan members I actually mean 99.99999% of it is available to Clan members, with 0.00001% being smuggled out of Speyburn and into EWB Towers. If you’ve signed up and are eagerly awaiting the first members-only bottle to come your way in a few months time, here’s what lies in store… *SPOILER ALERT*

The first exclusive Clan Speyburn bottling will be a single cask called Speyburn 1975 Clan Cask. The spirit has spent 37 long years maturing in a Spanish oak sherry butt from Pedro Domecq, the oldest Bodega in Jerez (founded 1730), which will most likely have contained Pedro Ximinez sherry beforehand. This is the reason behind the whisky’s exceptionally dark colour. For all the whisky geeks out there (and I proudly and unashamedly raise my hand as one of them) the official colour is 20 Lovibond (45.9 EBC). The sample we managed to steal… I mean acquire… was drawn from the cask in March this year and weighed in at a staggering 55.8% ABV. Talk about being mean to the angels.

Speyburn 1975 Clan Cask
Clan Speyburn Bottling
55.8% ABV
Available to members late 2012

Nose: Very nutty and with lots of soft estery notes – banana sweets and touches of wood varnish. Rum and raisin truffles underneath and the insides of Lindt chocolate balls. Sweet blood oranges and marmalade zest keep it fresh though. Lots of layers here, wonderful.

Palate: Richly fruity to begin with and then lightens up to sweet black forest gateaux. Processed berries, chocolate and cream swirl about giving this a full mouthfeel. Extremely smooth, very little hint of oak wood or the high alcohol content which is surprising, but definitely most welcome.

Finish: Long and evolving. Berries and trifle give way to a creamy softness. Massive.

Overall: Sometimes I write quite a lot of notes when summing a whisky up to give an overall impression. Not this time. One word. Magnificent.


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