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Glen Spey 1989 21 Year old Limited Release

Scotch or Bourbon?

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@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

11th Nov 2012


Glen Spey 1989 21 Year old Limited Release
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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This is a rare Glen Spey official bottling that was part of Diageo's 2010 special releases. It was aged partly in first-fill, partly in ex-Sherry American oak casks. A total of 5,844 bottles were produced. Glen Spey has an annual production capacity of 1.4 million litres and all of its whisky is used in blended whiskies, especially in J&B.

The nose is very rich with vanilla, coconut, marzipan, and cheesecake. This smells just like Bourbon whiskey! Further there is a panoply of overripe fruits such as plums and peaches. With water there is even more vanilla and coconut.

The palate is quite light - medium-bodied at best - lightly oily and almost a bit watery, smooth at first, then peppery. I again detected vanilla and in addition apples, pears and apricots. With water this becomes buttery, again like a Bourbon.

The finish is long and pleasantly lingering, with vanilla, apples, and pears making an appearance. I also got notes of charred oak. Right at the end there is a nice whiff of chocolate.

This is a great whisky and it just shows how many treasures are hidden within Diageo's portfolio. I wish that more of this were bottled as single malt.

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