Speyburn 15, 2017 Release

Monday’s Glen Grant 13 was a very pleasant surprise. Here’s hoping the last whisky of the month—also from a Speyside distillery—will be in that vein. It’s from the less than storied Speyburn distillery. I wasn’t aware that they now put out an official 15 yo but apparently they do. Or at least they released one in 2017—I’m not seeing any others listed on Whiskybase. Did no more releases follow? This was put together from spirit matured in American oak and Spanish oak casks. The Spanish oak casks would be sherry casks; and though American oak is also used to make sherry casks, I’m assuming it refers here to bourbon casks—otherwise they’d be trumpeting all-sherry maturation for sure. This sample came to me from Michael Kravitz of Diving for Pearls—the source of a number of March’s other reviewed samples. He has reviewed this one too—he too reviewed a sample and then seemingly liked it enough to purchase a bottle. Will that be true for me as well? Let’s see. Continue reading


Speyburn 26, 1988 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Speyburn is a somewhat unsung distillery. They are part of Inver House’s portfolio, which also includes Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu and Balmenach; and it’s safe to say that of those five distilleries, Speyburn is the most unsung. Indeed, they’re often the butt of jokes among whisky geeks. Of course, any distillery is capable of producing very good casks but when a 26 yo cask from an unsung distillery hangs around for a couple of years after release, it’s forgivable perhaps to think that it may not be very good. That was my thinking, at any rate, when I came across this bottle on my visit to Berry Bros. & Rudd in London last spring. The gent at the store prevailed on me to take a taste from an open bottle and when I did I was rather impressed by how fruity it was. It seemed like a pretty good deal at £125 and I purchased the bottle. When I got back to my flat, I cast around online to see if anyone had reviewed it and, of course, Serge had. I was surprised to see that he had given it only 78 points. I was also glad that I had not seen his review and score before going to the store, as in that case I might not even have bothered with a taste. I opened the bottle for my local group’s tasting in February and everyone else really liked it too. Here now are my notes.  Continue reading