Speyside 12 year 40%

Knowing we were in for a sherry trio with the Edradour and GlenDronach, we deliberately decided to start with a light ‘appetizer’ mini from Speyside.

And the whisky?


Speyside 12 year 40%

Here is what we found…

  • Nose – Phospherous like we just lit a match, sharp alcohol, then prunes, slightly musty, light herbs of perhaps basil, rosemary, juniper and a hint of pine, was there an elusive whiff of apple? olives? Or just a sliver of toffee caramel before sliding into turpentine then back to a generic sweet…
  • Palate – Thin and watery… 40% just doesn’t give it enough ‘oomph’. Very dry and a bit bitter. One likened it to the dryness the way your tongue feels after chomping down on a mouthful of dry crackers.
  • Finish – Was there one? Perhaps the lightest dash of cinnamon before disappearing?

Overall it was completely nondescript. Like a generic Speyside without anything that distinguished it remarkably and a few elements that were not entirely appealing. We really had to push ourselves to find much.

I felt exactly the same when I went to research to find out more about this particular bottle.

We know it is a single malt, from Scotland, specifically Speyside, matured for a minimum of 12 years and bottled at 40%.

The bottle also shares:

The cool, clean waters of the River Spey, beloved by generations of fly fisherman, are at the heart of Scotland’s whisky-making tradition.

But beyond that?

Erhm… nothing except you can buy a 700ml bottle for $40 at Marks and Spencer in the UK.

  • You can taste the history in each distinctively creamy sip, redolent with notes of mature vanilla and warm, spicy cinnamon. 
  • About this bottle: This smooth Speyside classic is made using time honoured, traditional methods that haven’t changed for over 130 years. In the heart of north-eastern Scotland runs the fast- flowing waters of the River Spey. On whose banks, it’s cool clean waters are at the heart of the country’s treasured and esteemed whisky making tradition.
  • Allergens: Sulphites

I’m not kidding…

After the spectacular surprise from The Whisky Exchange with their Edition No 1 Speyside 10 year, this was a complete let down.

What more should we know about this whisky?

Other miniatures sampled:

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More Miniatures – Speyside, Edradour, Glendronach 18 + 21

My fellow Mumbai whisky aficionado and I kept up our dedication to explore the world of whiskies through miniatures…

So enthusiastically did we embrace our task that we even invited another friend to join the sipping sampling fun!

And what did we explore this time?


Our session featured a Speyside appetizer and a revisit of three familiar Highland sherry friends:

Tasting notes will be coming soon, however if you missed any earlier miniatures explorations, check out our experiences here:

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The Speyside 12 years 40%

Last up in our wander down memory lane was The Speyside 12 year… from… gee.. the Speyside region. Yeah… I know… original name, eh?

Photo: Master of Malt

Photo: Master of Malt

We sampled it blind and here’s what we found…

The Speyside 12 year 40%

  • Colour – A lovely warm burnished gold
  • Nose – Overripe bannannas, tulips, bitter chocolate
  • Taste – Smooth, round, easily rolling around on the tongue… bringing the feeling of a warm, lovely evening, curling up in a cosy romantic blanket in front of a crackling fire. Some debate on the hint of peat however overall quite mellow.
  • Finish – Lingered, mellowing further like a perfect gentleman
  • Add water – Was that a hint of lavender that emerged?
  • Overall – Very approachable

Our contributor confessed he’d had it in his cupboard for years but hadn’t been inspired to try – largely as the packaging isn’t exactly inviting.

We didn’t find the hazelnuts mentioned on the bottle but would agree with the vanilla and toffee in the finish.


By the end of the evening we described our whiskies as follows:

  • Balvenie Triple Cask The guy who tries to be 1st in class, lovely to meet, some possibilities but…
  • Wasmund’sThe bad boy you just wanna go a little wild with and can’t resist!
  • The SpeysideThe guy you can count on, a companion. In short – the marrying type!

For me? My preference was the bad boy in the middle!

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