I’ve spoken about my choosing criteria a bit in previous reviews. However something that is immensely clear to me is the few readers who read these reviews on a serial basis are not the majority.
No, the majority of readers catch a few sentences, read the conclusion and the score, and only look at things that they are debating by buying at the time of reading.
That makes sense, of course. I don’t read recipes unless I want that specific dish; I check the ingredients to see if I can at that time, or to see what I need to buy to make said dish. Also I’m just as bad at having a huge write up at the start as anyone else.
Glen Spey 23 1995 Cadenhead Single Cask would seem to have most of its collective feet in my buying area: Cadenhead is a good independent bottler, the Single Cask range has more successes than failures, it’s cask strength, it’s single cask.
On the other hand, who raves about Glen Spey? And the price is a tad higher. But it went on sale, and a friend of mine who gets me to try new things offered up the split opportunity.
So we have ex-bourbon Glen Spey, something I have little experience with. Should you buy it? Let’s see how it aligns with my biases, which I’ll try to explain throughout, shall we?
Price: 299.60 SGD
Bottled: May 27, 2019
Cask type: Bourbon Hogshead
Number of bottles: 222
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Pear, clementine orange, buttercream icing, carrot cake
Lots of sweet citrus/fruit notes. That opens into more sweet/fruit/sour notes. It’s cake. There’s a bunch of vegetable cakes that somehow work.
Taste: Brown sugar, Meyer lemon, apple, ginger, papaya
Sweeter citrus, lots more of that local fruit, and then opens to more tropical and heat/spice notes.
Nothing too over the top, however I’m enjoying a balanced fruit dram. Goes a tad dry at times from the high levels of sweet, which works nicely.
Finish: Grapefruit, hay, cardamon, ginger, bitter oak
Tart, a bit farmy/cereal, and some bitter oak flavours that I’m not loving as much. The dram used up all the sweet parts at the start, and here we are.
Conclusion: Citrus heavy dram that jumps between sweet and dry. I don’t mind sipping on this, however it’s evident why it wasn’t picked up when Cadenhead decided that cask strength square bottles weren’t going to be their thing anymore.
I’m glad that it was cask strength, as it’s so subtle that lowering the Abv. would have left a pretty meh dram.
As it stands this is for you citrus lovers. It’s complex enough to be somewhat interesting, and gives some fun flavours. Beyond that it never really gets too complex enough for me to recommend it over other 23-year-old single casks.
Scotch review #1474, Speyside review #414, Whisky Network review #2177