Glen Spey 21 y.o. Review

Glen Spey 21 y.o.024

50.4% abv

Score:  89.5/100


Here’s another one of Diageo’s special releases.  While most of the company’s output is rather color-by-numbers, these occasional treats restore your faith in the multi-bajillion dollar enterprise’s ability to play by the game’s new rules: cask strength and unadulterated whisky for the purists.  Of course…the price tag can often be as big and bold as the alcohol in the bottle, but hey…I’d rather pay for quality than end up with a less expensive, but shittier dram.  You?

Either way…your odds of tracking down any other Glen Spey Distillery Bottlings (or even this one) are slim to none.  Case in point: this 2010 expression was from a limited run of only 5,844 bottles.  Nearly the entire output of this Rothes, Speyside distillery goes into blends; J&B in particular.  Shame, really, as I’ve noted before.  Why we don’t get more opportunities at these drams simply confounds me.  By all means, keep burying most of the output in blends if you like, but there is huge potential to make good money in the higher end markets by releasing these more obscure distilleries as single malts.  Anyway…not sure yet how well the younger distillate would hold up to scrutiny, but this 21 year old is impressive and frighteningly drinkable.

This Glen Spey was first sampled at a mate’s house one eve over a wonderful dinner party.  It was warmly received by the three gents sipping, and absolutely warranted a closer look.  I initially chalked up an 89/100, but upon a second visit, and a bit of ribbing and persuasion by my afore-mentioned friend, I was talked into an extra half point here.  Yes, it’s warranted, but I can’t go higher.  Very nice whisky with very broad appeal.  Well done, Diageo.  <restrained golf clap>

One last thought…this is apparently from American Oak casks that once held sherry.  Hmmm…not much sherry influence that I’m noting here.  Dead wood or second/third fill?  Dunno.  Works a treat though.

Nose:  Peach cobbler.  A light dusting of old cinnamon and cocoa powder.  Vanilla sponge cake.  Marmalade on white bread.  Bird’s custard.  Mild notes of butter tart.  Marzipan.  A touch of clean pleasant latex paint.  Very soft and gentle.

Palate:  Faint peachy notes with apple and vanilla.  This is very fruity, but the fruits are nearly unidentifiable as individual nuances.  Soft baking notes and smooth as hell.  A summer dram, if ever there was one.

Thanks, Vikash.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

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