They say that good things come to those who wait.
Or do they?
Construction first began at Speyside Distillery near to Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands in 1962 under ownership of George Christie, a Glasgow based whisky broker. It wasn’t until 1990 however that the distillery first started to produce spirit. By 1993 Drumguish Single Malt was released. It arrived with no age statement but even my basic grasp of mathematics leads me to conclude that it was the legal minimum of three years old. Also released under the name Glen Tromie it was available until 1999 when it was withdrawn from the market. By the year 2000 the distillery had been bought over by private investors before being sold on to Harveys of Edinburgh and as time has passed the product of the distillery has been rebranded as Spey Single Malt.
Drumguish, (OB), NAS, Single Malt, 40% abv (from my collection – auction purchase)
The nose is initially quite spirit and woody. There is a malty backbone with some red fruits, faint leather and a nutty presence. There is also slight cheese hint which I can’t quite pick out, perhaps a touch of distant vinegar also.
The palate is a little thin and reasonably unmemorable. Quite a hit of sharp cedar wood and elements of cheap rum, reminiscent of rum n raisin ice cream mix with what I can only describe as cheap biscuits. It does open up a little on the second sip, becoming a touch sweeter and with some minimal floral elements.
The finish is pretty short, continuing with the wood / biscuit theme. There is a sprinkling of spice and a whack of root ginger along with a woody tang that lingers a little too long.
This is what I’d call a ‘noisy’ whisky. There are some nice elements within the dram but drinking it is akin to listening to an orchestra tuning up. All the right instruments and noises are there but not in time with each other or with any balance or direction.
Thankfully a change in ownership and direction has seen Spey (as it is now) move on from under the shadow of Drumguish.
You can find more of my tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.
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