I was once given advice to ‘never turn down an invitation’ You never really know where it might take you.
In this case it had taken me to Glasgow and inside Bar 29 Private Members Club for an exclusive tasting of a new single cask release from the folks at the Spey Distillery.
Last night marked the unveiling of the first ever spirit distilled at the Spey Distillery back in 1990. Bottle No1 of 250 will be auctioned by whisky specialists McTears later this month.
I’ve previously visited the distillery (if you haven’t visited you really must) and tried several of their expressions, which I have to say, have been very pleasant drams indeed and in my opinion have been flying under most whisky drinkers radar.
Single cask expressions can notoriously be a hit or a miss and depend massively on the quality and on the unique characteristics of the barrel used. I have had a couple of mildly disappointing single cask expressions and also some phenomenal ones so its always interesting to try a new one.
Spey Cask 27, 25yo, 55.1%abv, OB, 250 bottles (availability as yet unknown)
The whisky was distilled in 1990 and matured in 2nd fill American oak bourbon barrels. It is bottled at 55.1%abv and is non coloured and non chill filtered.
The nose has notes of citrus, sweet cereal and spiced green apple with a deep vanilla element.
The palate is initially spiced but quickly fades to vanilla, crunchy green apple, white grape and lemon pepper. There are a slight touch of tannic notes here that continue on to the finish itself which is pleasantly drying and spiced with strong undernotes of lightly charred vanilla and some lingering oak.
Adding water seems to level out and balance the wood notes bringing out the sweetness of both the vanilla and green apple note whilst rounding the spice. Personally I preferred this with just a little water.
A delicate dram, rounded and balanced (more so with a little water) and a definate easy sipper. I don’t have any details of release dates, prices or availability as yet.
As with all Spey expressions it comes immaculately presented.
The bottles themselves are made in France by a company that usually specialises in perfume bottles.
Thanks to the folks at Spey for the invite, for a very pleasant evening and the chance to try such a limited expression.