Thanks to /u/xile_ for pouring this for me. And damn me for not taking a picture. Let’s take that as a good sign.
By now you may, or may not have read one of many things: Either my fellow friends’ reviews of this whisky, my reviews of previous older Speysides, or even more likely, Serge’s review of this very whisky.
If you have, feel free to skip on down. If not, well, welcome to the Thunderdome.
Speyside 44 1973 The Whisky Agency is one of many undisclosed distillery releases from independent bottlers. All of them come from the 70s, and I assume they followed a rainbow to get to them. Or perhaps some sort of servant of a deity. Suffice to say I’ve had some really, really good whisky from this mystery distillery.
So that’s the lead-up. Yeah, the hype was huge going in on this. We were all at full mast, and the wind was blowing in the right direction. More jokes about being ready, you could say.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Not as pricey as you’d think. I think I’ve seen $600 – $800, which is pretty good
Region: Speyside (duh)
Aged: 44 years
Matured in a Butt
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Toast with butter (still warm and really good bread), honey, lavender, peach jam, blackberry
Alright, here’s what you have to do if you’re not getting my meaning on the bread: Go make bread. Find a simple beer bread or no-knead bread recipe, and make it. First off you’ll feel amazing. Second, bread is awesome. Do this twice if you have a gluten issue. Because I’m an ass.
This is breakfast at a bed and breakfast made just for you and some random people you’re now eating with. While that makes Millennials such as myself scream internally, the food is always amazing, and this is that. Lighter than previous Speyside releases, this one needs a bit of time to get going.
Taste: Oak, buttery cinnamon bread, daisy, plantains, blackberry, apple pie, mango, walking into a new bakery while they are making all of the strudel
Just an insane amount of flavours, but quite shy at first. As I said before, this needs time. We took triple the time on this one. Lots of dank flavours, yet some lighter fruit to balance it all out.
Eventually, it’s all warm apple pastry.
Finish: Honey house in the middle of summer, old leather, cream cheese, cloves, Smarties, vanilla and fruit peel tea
The finish is what brought me back. So imagine this: You’re sitting there, drinking this expensive malt that has been stated as legendary by a legendary reviewer, and you’re not getting it. You’re worried that you’re broken.
And then finally, after waiting extra time to actually taste this, after nosing and nosing… the finish draws me right back. That big honey house note… wow. Assuming you’re not allergic to bee stings, I’d recommend hitting up a honey house. It’s a pseudo-farm/industrial situation that has this wonderful heat and honey feeling, as well as these oak notes.
That’s in the finish. There’s fruit, spice, even some funk/cream notes… Heck, I even got cocoa. That’s all great. But that honey house thing… that’s golden. And made me go back and give this more and more time.
Conclusion: God damn legendary. The type of whisky you sit down with for hours and try to pick apart with a smile on your face. And then you spend another hour just appreciating it.
Truly a work of art. If I have to compare it to the other whiskies, which I do, I’ll compare it to the other Speyside releases. Heck, I’ll compare it to everything, but for the conclusion, I’ll compare it to them.
It matches on complexity. The only fault I can see is the others seemed to be ready to go upon opening the bottle and giving it some time. This one was shy at first and may be lost on some people.
That all said, this is a really, really good dram. Amazing buttery bread. There’s a reason we eat bread. Because it’s tasty. Also all those benefits from making grain easier
Scotch review #1032, Speyside review #285, Whisky Network review #1617