To recap: xile_ (his real name, really) had us all over for a mystery lineup. I brought brownies. That’s really not useful to the review. Well, I didn’t have them until the whiskies were done, and drank tons of water between each dram. Maybe that’s useful. Oh, and all of the whiskies were poured blind. xile_ bet I’d get two right. I showed him and got none right. That’ll show him.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I did not have sex with that woman. Butt stuff totally doesn’t count, no matter how sore I was the next day.
I also tend to talk about some drams that end up in the whisky Zeitgeist. For instance, there’re some very old Speysides that hit the market between this year and last year. No idea of the distillery. Some of them give an age. Some of them were the top of the pops for whiskies of the year (including mine, and some guy named Serge, who… look I’m joking here and of course you’ve heard of him, he’s more influential than me and makes far fewer dick jokes).
Of course, this past year is also the time when we had those amazing leather filled, awe-inspiring blends of much too low whisky from the 70s that also slipped out to say hello. Speyside Very Old Selection Sansibar Spirits Shop Selection fits into the first group.
That said, this wasn’t as funky as other ones, so I got it mixed up with the second group.
But let’s stop dancing around the review. This is an older Sansibar picked whisky that they collaborated with Spirits Shop to select for the Asian market. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Cask Type: Sherry butt
Number of Bottles: 322
Colour: 7.5Y 8/6
Nose: Molasses, cereal/heather, cinnamon, vegetal, dark chocolate
Initial cereal and molasses are nice. This slowly ramps up with various happy plant-based spices, and with water more bitter, dark chocolate notes.
Whereas the last dram was very light, this has some payoff. The old ass Speyside honey/cereal is back. However, the funk from before is a lot more vegetal now.
Taste: Light peat/leather, peach drink, manuka honey, coffee, peat
Here’s where I got mixed up. There’s this wonderful peat/leather aspect here. And that makes me think about the other recent nice high-end old drams I’ve had.
Some stone fruit, some nice earth, and even a good, rich caramel/honey flavour. Which really should have told me that this is one of the old Speyside whiskies.
Finish: White pepper, honey, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, smoke, nectarine
Wow, this is where the dram goes big. Smoke, cinnamon, coffee, and even chocolate. Lovely pepperiness, lovely fruit, and all of it balanced.
The best way I can explain it is it’s like a super expensive, single origin chocolate bar with fruit, high-end honey, and even some spice in it.
Conclusion: Really tasty, old style malt. It reminds me of two really good dram collections I had last year. It’s not as funky, or as strong as other ones I had. It nearly hits those great notes.
That said, there was a great chocolate/peat element here. The lovely smoke aspects, the molasses, and all of that. I feel silly for getting this wrong. Looking back, yeah, this is right up there with others I was lucky enough to try.
That all said if you felt the last ones were too much bread or too much funk, but loved the honey and wanted some smoke, then this one may fit perfectly into your life.
Guess: An old sherry XO blend from the 70s?
Actually: Speyside Very Old Selection Sansibar Spirits Shop Selection
Scotch review #971, Speyside review #266, Whisky Network review #1528