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Speyside Distillery – a distillery with an uninspired name in the region with the same name – was founded in 1962, but it took until 1990 before the first spirit flowed from the stills. For a long time their range was as uninspired as the name, but in 2014 it was completely overhauled and relaunched as simply ‘The Spey’. I am going to try 5 of them, head-to-head. Let me start with the new 12 Year Old, which was finished on virgin oak.
The nose is very malty. You can actually smell the barley and even some yeast. Smells quite immature. Some dried grasses, heather and a hint of gingerbread. Some vanilla kicks in. Fruitwise, I am left searching. Hints of baked apples and the skin of a coconut.
The body is light, but luckily not watery. Again baked apples, but also some nuts. Ginger, vanilla and a pinch of pepper. Midpalate it becomes a bit bitter. Luckily it remains sweet enough. Vanilla biscuits. Not much else going on, though.
In de medium long finish the oak turns very loud. At the death it gets a sudden chemical edge. That is a pity.
The expectations were not very high and maybe that is why they were still fulfilled. A very middle of the road malt, but other than that, not much is wrong with it. Around 50 EUR for a bottle, which I find a bit much.