Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: International Beverage Holdings
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: www.speyburn.com
A proudly speysider distillery right from its name, founded in the late nineteenth century, it features the distinctive pagoda architecture created by the renowned Charles C Doig.
Brothers John and Edward Hopkins were in a hurry to produce their own whisky to take advantage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee that year (1897), and began distilling while the premises were still without doors and windows (what a draught!), casking their first spirit that same year, while their employees worked through a terrible snowstorm.
Management soon passed to the Speyburn-Glenlivet Distillery Company, who ran it until 1916 when it was acquired by the Distillers Company Limited, which led to several closures in the 1930s and 1940s, with the final reopening in 1947.
After further changes of hands to first Scottish Malt Distillers and then Inver House Distillers, Speyburn was acquired by Pacific Spirits in 2001, which was taken over by the current owners in 2006.
Fact: The distillery doesn’t have a visitor centre and isn’t open to the public, but does have a virtual tour on its website.
The colour is a beautiful dark amber.
The nose is enveloped in a sherried personality, with lots of cinnamon, cloves, lemon, ripe banana, honey, vanilla. Background turf, with a slightly shameless alcoholic tip. Simple and all in all anonymous.
The alcohol is also brazen on the palate, boasting from below its 46 degrees, amplifying the herbaceous profile that accompanies the same impressions as the nose. Ripe fruit and vanilla, baked apples with cinnamon, honey, a hint of citrus and an impression of chocolate. In the end, it is the cinnamon that dominates the aromas, overwhelmed by the invasiveness of the alcohol, making the whole thing rather monotonous.
The finish is quite short, with (strangely!) cinnamon, alcohol, caramel and lemon.
Without infamy or praise, a whisky that flows in total indifference were it not for the messy presence of alcohol.
The Whiskey Wash