Speyside 43 1973 Maltbarn

Speyside 43 Maltbarn.jpg

Thanks to Igor for pouring this dram.

Last year I was lucky enough to have tried the best whisky of the year according to Serge at Whisky Fun. That’s pretty cool.

Because everyone has different opinions. So it’s interesting when we differ. There’s some reviewers where I wonder about their opinion. There’s no reviewers that agree with my thoughts exactly. What a nut job they would be.

Thus it was pretty cool for both of us to choose the same Scotch of the year.

His second place was similar, as it too was from an unknown Speyside distillery, distilled in 1973, independently bottled at cask strength, and 43 years old. Yes, I’m talking about Speyside 43 1973 Maltbarn.

I was served this blind. And for what will be one of only two or three times, I nearly guess it correctly. I just couldn’t remember my words. Perhaps due to elation.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This isn’t about me lining myself up to another reviewer. It’s my turn to review Speyside 43 1973 Maltbarn, and see what I thought about it.

So let’s see then, shall we?

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Age: 43 years

Vintage: 1973

Bottled: 2016

Cask Type: Sherry

Number of Bottles: 149

Bottling: No. 70

Abv: 47.7%

Colour: 10Y 9/6

Nose: Buttered corn, peach blossom, plantains, carrot, toast

Initial nose is light, however immediately I have that strong buttery note. That said, where the last one was more cereal/bready, this one is giving off more interesting vegetal notes and floral.

Initially this doesn’t give much away. Eventually it starts opening up more.

Taste: Caramelized peach, vanilla ice cream, strawberry jam, coal, heated cinnamon apple cider

Good burnt peach, big vanilla flavour, creamy, and then everything comes at you like you’re holding the football at a football match and others want the football.

I know sports.

Spice, stone fruit, and big, well developed earthy notes. Water brings out warmth, apple, and even some nice tartness. I could sip this forever.

Finish: Lemongrass, smoked caramel, funk, ginger, buttered corn, buttery green beans, the ocean on a sunny day, applesauce

Long. Lasted an hour and a half, all the way home. No joke, I got home, and could still taste this.

If the nose was a reserved preview, the finish is someone trying to get their homework done before the teacher calls on them for an answer. It hits you all at once, holding nothing back.

Water brings out a brine filled dry warmth that’s next to impossible to describe. Lots of funk, lots of flavours.

Conclusion: Wow, truly an amazing dram. Butter, vegetal, well developed earth, burnt stone fruit, cream that blends with vanilla, and more.

The only “downside” is the relative reserved nose. It’s hard to get into this at first, and it holds back just a bit too much. That said, even the nose is unique and interesting, so for a downside, it’s not that bad.

Buy this if you can.


Scotch review #869, Speyside review #253, Whisky Network review #1390

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