Speyburn have been distilling whisky in the Spey Valley for 120 years using the pure water from the Granty Burn. This long heritage shows in the quality of their products. Peter Morrell tastes three of them
The steep valley in which Speyburn is located is so narrow that the distilling building had to be specially designed by Charles C. Doig, the world-famous distillery designer and innovator. To add a flourish to the building Doig topped it with a Pagoda style roof.
The whiskies that Speyburn produce are just as stylish as the building in which they are made. One defining feature of them is that the Granty Burn water this contributes to their bright and lively character.
I have recently tried three whiskies from their range. Here are the reviews in age order
Speyburn Bradan Orach – Age unspecified
Gaelic for ‘Golden Salmon’, Bradan Orach is the entry level whisky from Speyburn, and is the ideal whisky to start the exploration of the range It is matured exclusively in American Oak ex-bourbon casks. This bright single malt was named in honour of the world-class salmon fishing found on the River Spey.
On the nose the aromas are quite subtle, there are distinct caramel notes with strong green apple and vanilla notes, with some malt and honey. On the palate the whisky is sweet with a creamy mouthfeel, and there are good flavours of vanilla, honey and oak. The finish has fruity tones but is a little short, which is related to its age.
This is a good value whisky (the low £20s), and as well as being a worthy sipping whisky, makes a great base for cocktails.
Speyburn 10 years old
The Speyburn 10 years old is a multi-award-winning single malt, matured in a combination of American Oak ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. Aging in these casks gives the whisky a lot of character.
The bouquet shows abundant aromas of caramel and toffee, with intriguing floral notes, lemon and aromatic spices. In the mouth there is honey with oak, vanilla, spices, and hints of grass. The finish is strong and persistent.
I liked this whisky, it has a powerful taste but is not overwhelming. It’s just right for sipping neat, or over a cube of ice. Price is around £31
Speyburn 15 years old
This is a rich, vibrant, award-winning Speyside whisky, its deep amber hue giving the first clue to its age. Fifteen years maturing in American oak and Spanish oak casks have allowed this whisky to mature into a well-rounded, very pleasing single malt.
This whisky has a very good, fruity nose showing oranges, apples, raisins, and vanilla spice. On the palate the fruit continues and is joined by honey, toffee, and a broader spectrum of spices. The finish is long and sweet.
This is a complex and very enjoyable whisky, that would make an ideal present for the single malt lover, or those who enjoy the finer things in life. Shop around for this whisky as there are several good deals around in the low £50s
Overall a very good range of whiskies with multiple taste experiences and price points.
The whiskies are widely available from good spirit stockists.
For more information visit https://www.speyburn.com/