Speyburn 10 year 43%

I couldn’t help but be amused with the unveiling of the third whisky! After years of Speyburn not being on our radar, some from our merry malt group tried it :

However our host missed both these events and independently picked up the 10 year, drawn by descriptions of ‘classic Speyside’. We sampled it blind and then revealed the whisky.Speyburn 10

  • Nose – Sweet fruits – particularly banana, honey, light lemon citrus, sweet green lime as it opens, nutmeg and vanilla as it airs
  • Taste – Honey water, wondered if there was a little sweet tobacco? Overall fairly flat, maybe a hint of coffee? Bit of peat, hard to trace the different elements
  • Finish – Some spice however it doesn’t linger
  • Speculation – Clearly ex-bourcon cask
  • Overall – Very pleasant, easy to relax with… call it an eminently ‘drinkable dram’
It is easy to see why Stuart Harvey calls the Speyburn ‘under-rated’… it has a solid dependable quality that makes for a surprisingly good everyday dram.
So there you have it, an exploration of three lighter whiskies:

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On a lighter note… Tyrconnell, Clynelish, Speyburn

Most whisky aficionados have a ‘preferred’ profile. It could be bold peaty or sweet sherry or a craving for complexity where nothing else will do!

One of our original malt group members is partial to lighter more delicate whiskies. He seeks a little nuance and elegance in his dram.

So when it came time to host our 1st tasting session for 2016, he selected whiskies that he hoped would achieve such an approach.

2016-01-27 Oak League

Our evening had a decidedly light sprightly feel with:

However don’t be fooled! Just when pegged into a particular ‘type’, purely for contrast, our host shared that when he’s had a hard day at work, only something a bit rougher, tougher and robust will do.

That’s when a Wasmund’s 12 month 48% was pulled out! Because we all need a little ‘bad boy’ to spice things up once and a awhile.

Me? I’m terribly mood dependant. Some could say I can’t make up my mind, but it is simply that I enjoy the range of profiles.

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Mumbai’s Whisky Ladies and Karen Walker sip a Speyburn 10 year

Next up, the Whisky Ladies were introduced to Speyburn by Karen Walker, Global Marketing Head for Scottish Brands of InterBeverage Group.

Speyburn 10 (Courtesy International Beverage)

Speyburn 10 (Courtesy International Beverage)

Speyburn 10 year aka distillery visit footwear

Karen shared that her ‘goal’ for the evening was to bring the distillery to us ladies in Mumbai. Which then turned to some fashion advice showing off her rather stylish wedges:

Wear wedges or flats, no heels!

Why? There are typically slats in the stairs and hence heels can get caught… to avoid ankle twisting and accidents, sensible (but stylish!) footwear is recommended…

Karen then shared how this Speyburn is considered a ‘classic’ single malt in the US – more than holding its own with high competition.

Here is what we found…

  • Nose – Heavy caramel and spice, a bit of bananas, some raisiny goodness
  • Taste – Completely piquant on the tongue! Cayenne and orange. Sweet, with toffee and lemon.
  • Finish – Light with a bite on its way out…
  • Water – Opens up nicely with a drop or two of water
  • Overall – Interesting how it has a heavy nose but light mouthful

This whisky sparked remarks like:

  • “Something you could gift to someone and expect that they’d like it!” 
  • “Perfect for a hot whisky toddy!”

Already sampled in our evening with Karen:

Up next:

Related posts sampling with Stuart Harvey:

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Mumbai’s Whisky Ladies meet Karen Walker of Inver House

Now… I could tell you serious stories of sniffing, sipping, swishing, swilling, and eventually swallowing.

However this is the tale of how a bunch of women got together one evening and managed to still stand after five (or was it six?) fabulous beverages.

Some of Whisky Ladies of Mumbai

Karen with some of Whisky Ladies of Mumbai

Whisky Ladies go pro!

Yes… it was the night we graduated to power point presentations with insights from a real live whisky professional! Who just so happens to be the absolutely delightful, entertaining and highly knowledgeable Karen Walker, Global Marketing Head for Scottish Brands of InterBeverage Group.

Here is what we sampled with Karen with full posts about the Whisky Ladies experiences:

Related posts sampling Inver House offerings with Master Distiller Stuart Harvey from earlier in 2015:

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The Surprising Speyburn 10 year 43%

Stuart Harvey calls Speyburn a “surprising” whisky that is “hugely under-rated.”

We sampled the Speyburn 10 year together with Stuart Harvey, master distiller with Inver House responsible for Balblair, Old Pulteney, AnCnoc and Speyburn whiskies – both at a sociable ‘home appreciation’ evening and then the next night at a masterclass.

Speaking about the Speyburn distillery, Stuart shared it is one of the 1st mechanical malting in the world, with an onion shaped still that produces heavy oils from its squat shape. The whisky is then matured in American oak bourbon casks, with some time in sherry butts for finishing.

Speyburn 10 (Courtesy International Beverage)

Speyburn 10 (Courtesy International Beverage)

And what did we find with the 10 year?

  • Colour – Bright yellow
  • Nose – Lots of sour honey, overripe bananas, fruity on the citrus side, light sherry notes
  • Taste – Bit chewy, buttery, toffee, coffee and caramel, bitter, slightly raw, yet full-bodied, a hint of salt. Spicy yet surprisingly light with a citrus twist
  • Finish – Quite peaty, a bit dry
  • Water – Smooths it out
  • Ice – Cranks up the sweetness on the nose, adds a freshness

Interestingly, it was the least expensive of the whiskies sampled with the Inver House folks, however it was also one which appealed to many at the ‘home appreciation’ evening… Partly as it works well with the desi style to drinking whisky… chill with ice and drown with water!

The next evening in the Masterclass it also held its own… It will be interesting to see whether Speyburn tickles the desi whisky palate and gains popularity. It certainly does well in the US, so why not India?

Here’s what the Speyburn folks have to say about the 10 year:

  • Nose – Fresh, clean with a hint of lemon
  • Taste – Medium bodied with hints of toffee & butterscotch and a long, sweet finish. A global favourite, Speyburn 10 year old is ever the crowd-pleaser.

We sampled the Speyburn 10 year together with:

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