Welcome to day 23 and a trip to Speyside to discover an older expression of Glen Spey from A.D. Rattray. We have had one other Glen Spey as day 1 of our 3rd edition. It was in fact the first ever Secret Spirits bottling in full bottle format and at the legal age of 18 as well. Glen Spey was built in 1828 under the name “Mill of Rothes”. Located in the town of Rothes it is owned by Diageo who use the vast majority of its production for the J&B blends. Glen Spey Distillery has been released sporadically under the fauna and flora range but is most often seen through independent bottlings like this one. Nice that we can occassionally rescue a cask or two from being splashed into J&B rare.
A.D. Rattray Glen Spey 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky – Speyside – Sherry Butt # 5980 – 59.2%abv
Colour: Pale gold – Looks like a 2nd or refill sherry butt given the colour after 21 years. Am expecting this to be quite a vibrant whisky for 21 years old.
Nose: Soft and delicate nose even at just a pinch under 60%. Wildflower honey, creme caramel, Old cathedral pews complete with old hymnals. Book leather, marble and granite. Loads going on here but needs to be coaxed gently and with time. Turns a touch dusty but in an “im an older whisky” kind of way. Could spend a long time just smelling this.
Palate: Much more of an explosion on the palate than I was expecting. The almost 60% after 21 years is amazing and bursts across the palate with notes of cavendish pipe tobacco, balsamic reduction and cave aged gruyere on fig crackers. Spicy notes take hold with a touch of chili infused dark chocolate.
Finish: Some lingering citrus rind and boy is that ever warming me all the way down. The savory backbone of this dram is still the overiding flavor for me although some tangerine sweetness peeks up right at the end. The abv holds large all the way and calls out for a splash or two. I am looking forward to seeing what our youtubers do with water in this dram. Tempting to add a little myself but am sticking to what I have been doing so far for this edition and just focussing on it straight out of the bottle.
There is a lot to discover here and I hope you have the patience and time to spend with this lovely 21 year old Single Malt. A contemplative dram if ever there was one. Mystery, discover and delight all in your glass.
You there with your whisky in hand go, watch, like – Youtubers at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig reviews. Cindy and I have been thoroughly entertained by all of these takes on our 6th edition.
On day 23 in the 5th edition we had the A.D. Rattray North British 30 Year Old Single Grain.
Tomorrow being Christmas eve we are going to have something quite special from Wemyss Malts that is one of my favorite whiskies in this edition.
See you on Christmas Eve.