The Speyside 1996 18 (Malts of Scotland Highland Laird)

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So here’s something confusing for everyone:

In Scotland, there is a region called Speyside.

I know, I know, most of us know that. Give me a second.

So, there’s a region called Speyside. And in that region, there’s a distillery called The Speyside. And sometimes people make an independent bottling without a name, and call it by it’s region. If it’s a Speyside, it’ll be called Speyside.

So, to keep up: There’s a region called Speyside that may have Speysides coming out of it by Independent Bottlers who will call it a Speyside or they will bring out a Speyside called The Speyside.

Holy fuck it’s confusing. I’m trying one such whisky, The Speyside 1996 18 year, brought out by Malts of Scotland. And at first, I thought it was a blend. Or a the distillery didn’t want them to put their name on it. Also Malts of Scotland just talk about the region, and not the distillery, so that adds another wrench right into the Elephant pile.

The Speyside is actually quite a big deal. They own Scott’s Selection. They produce Glen Hood, Best Seller and Scottish Prince blended whisky. They make Glentromie and Củ Dhub. And have OB of The Speyside as well.

Man, I’ve been living under a rock. Let’s see how this tastes before I go cross-eyed.

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Price: N/A

Region: Speyside

Abv: 56.6%

Colour: Gold

Nose: Caramel, nutmeg, raspberry, buttery, woody, floral, green apple, banana bread

Really nice, Speyside notes with aspects of sherry and ex-bourbon (guessing). Complex as well. I’m interested in The Speyside.

That’s notes of the region, not the distillery. The first time. Not the second.

Taste: Pear, butter, malt, allspice/weak spice cake

Kinda weak. I… hmmm… Okay, after multiple sips and other tries of water and time, this is just… well, weak. I can see why I thought it was a blend at first, just don’t have much to the taste.

Finish: Anise, strawberry, caramel, pear, pepper, cardamom, peanut

Good finish, like the whisky wakes up in your throat and crawls it’s way out (nice mental image, good luck sleeping now).

Now if they could just fix the marketing..

Conclusion: This is a confusing dram, and not just because of the name. More so because it’s a confusing dram. The nose is complex, and really inviting. The finish has tons of spice and nutty, caramely flavours, with a touch of sherry.

Oh and the taste is as absent as I was in grade 12 English (a lot). It’s really sad, because you have a well aged, interesting malt. Heck, it is on it’s way to being a better Glenfiddich 18, and then…. no taste.

Oh well. Try it if you’re really into the nose or finish of a whisky, or get it for someone who likes “smooth” whisky. It’ll transition them.

Just… don’t try to explain the name or anything. You’ll walk into a post.


Scotch review #293, Speyside review #85, Whisky network review #433

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