This is third of five Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection releases that I purchased in mini form from their Marylebone shop in early May. I’m afraid I did not care overmuch for the first two I’ve so far tried and reviewed: the Pulteney 11 yo I found to be overly sour and yeasty/bready; the Balmenach 12 was better but nothing worth getting excited about. I’m hopeful that this Glen Spey may continue the upward trend and move this series more firmly into the territory of the good.
I’ve not had or reviewed very many Glen Speys so far, only two older ones: the Diageo Special Release 21 yo from a few years ago (which I really liked) and a 25 yo from Archives (which disappointed a bit). Let’s see where this one, which is also from a bourbon cask, falls.
Glen Spey 15, 2001 (56.4%; Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection; from a purchased mini)
Nose: Malt, toasted wood and a biscuity quality. With time and air there’s some mild fruity notes below—lime peel and sweeter notes of peach and raspberry. Water makes the fruit more expressive and brings out more of the malt and some cream; after a bit there’s a note that I can only describe as black tea with a lot of milk.
Palate: A mix of the fruit and peppery oak on the first sip, more acid/citrus on the second sip. Nice mouthfeel. Sweeter and simpler with water at first but then it gets leafier and the oak expands.
Finish: Medium. The fruit and the peppery oak fade out together with the lime peel taking over at the end. As on the palate with water, getting a little tannic at the end.
Comments: There’s not a whole lot happening here but this is a very pleasant malt with no real flaws. A good one for a warm night in late May (which is when I’m drinking it). I may have added too much water but, on the whole, I preferred it neat (though I did like the development on the nose with water).
Rating: 84 points.