Our mate, and fellow whisky lover, Mike Mckeand, somehow managed to pick up a bottle of Speyburn 25yo for less than three and sixpence at a recent auction. He tasted it, thought about it, wrote down those thoughts and cobbled together the following (vaguely coherent) article. Enjoy!
Recently I managed to come by a fairly healthy wee collection of whisky for a very reasonable price. Dotted amongst the blends and single malts there were a few wee gems including a Speyburn 25yo which kind of got me thinking, you never seem to hear anything about Speyburn. Well a quick trip to their website soon uncovered why. Their “range” of three whiskies at the moment hardly supplies the magazines and websites with the fodder needed for their pages.
Along with the 25 year old, they also make a 10yo and the un-aged Bradan Orach. As a current employee of the Scotch Whisky Experience (how else would any of the Edinburgh Whisky Bloggers know each other?!) the 10yo and Bradan Orach are surprisingly also quite unknown to me despite their fairly frequent appearances as tour whiskies. However, I only have a bottle of the 25yo (because that’s how I roll) so that’s all I’m going to talk about. (You’re clearly paid too much – Ed).
It was released in November 2012 and matured for 25 years in American oak Fino sherry casks and bourbon casks. A bottle will set you back in the region of £200, which makes my bargain price seem even more reasonable. It’s natural colour, non-chill filtered and also bottled at 46% ABV so I’m expecting a bit of a prickle on the taste buds.
£193 from here
Nose: Sweet and pleasant. A lot of vanilla and oak. Floral, honey with a slight lemon zest in the background too. Water brings out the lemon even more.
Palate: Very creamy and incredibly smooth. Vanilla fudge and honey develops into citrusy notes towards the end.
Finish: Long and dry with the lemon lingering.
Overall: Where’s the prickle? It would be ideal for sharing on a special occasion with friends who might not be whisky drinkers but with whom you deem deserving of something special as there’s barely any sharpness to it at all. Very enjoyable but not blown away. Its issue is that if you’re looking to spend around £200 on something special, then there are some much more special things out there. Still, I’m not going to complain seeing as I certainly did not spend £200 on it and have no qualms about having to drink the rest.