Review: Glen Spey 21

Glen Spey 21

Glen Spey – 21 year old.

(Distilled 1989, bottled 2010, first-fill American oak, 5844 bottles, 50.4%)

Bit like buses, Glen Spey. I’d never tried one until recently, but since then several have crossed my path. They’ve all been pretty good too, so this might be yet another obscure Speyside distillery that’s worth keeping an eye out for.

Nose: Old Speyside. Fruit (dried apricots, stewed oranges, peaches) backed with an aromatic woodiness. Cigar humidor (very much so), and crushed walnut and almond shells. A bit of stale gingerbread – like the inside of a lebkuchen – and a tiny aniseed hint.
Taste: Again, very classically Speyside – nothing really jumps out as unusual, but everything is balanced and in its place. Honey, strawberry, apple and dried pineapple. A little vanilla and liquorice. The strength is perfect, and water actually diminishes it a bit.
Finish: Not very long, but refreshingly clear, clean, grassy and spearminty. Honey and a touch of orange reappear right at the end.

This is a tremendously elegant whisky, and one in which the lack of any great complexity is far from a defect. It has poise, and even seems a bit more mature than the age indicates. Straightforward, honest, well-made and delicious whisky.

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