Whisky Review: Connoisseurs Choice Speyburn 1989 (The Wood Makes the Whisky)

After two peated whiskies that were matured in sherry casks, the third whisky from Gordon and Macphail “The Wood Makes the Whisky” campaign is a straightforward ex-bourbon matured whisky from Speyburn distillery.

We’re not used to see many Speyburn indie bottlings out there. In fact, there aren’t many official bottlings, but G&M have longtime relationships and connections with various distilleries and whisky producers and so they stocked a few casks from Speyburn, released under the “Connoisseurs Choice” brand. The latest one, which was part of the package is a 1989 vintage that was bottled in 2013 so it’s a 23-24 year old.

Connoisseurs Choice Speyburn 1989 (46%, £75.95/€97.99)

: Bread dough, cereals, sourdough, grapefruits, honey, white pepper, gentle wet wood note. After 2-3 minutes it’s sweeter with added honey and then some traces of vanilla, gentle flowery and spearmint notes, not perfumed but hints at it and still lots of grapefruits

Palate: sweet honey and bread dough, that spearmint from the nose? now it’s menthol, pink grapefruits, then spicy, lots of white pepper, surprisingly quite bodily.

Finish: medium, grapefruits, honey and vanilla, menthol, traces of white pepper and oak wood spices.

Thoughts: This one grew on me. At first I thought it’s an average whisky but with time and patience it rewarded me with a lovely classic old school ex-bourbon profile and I can see myself getting a bottle.


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