The Speyside 12 Years Review



"Leave This Kid Alone”

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland - Speyside
Brand: The Speyside
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age:  12 Years
ABV:  40 % 
Date: 27/04/2014

Colour: Amber

Nose: Not very enchanting! My first impressions are Tired Casks, Cooked Sour Vegetables, Sulphur, Dirty Earth and Sugar. This Malt smells like a cheap blend.
After a while I get some Metallic notes, Mint, Straw, Toast and Margarine, light Spices, Pencil Shavings, Sharp Grain, light Honey, Caramelised Apple and Cocoa Powder. This Spirit has a very Young, Rough and Vegetal Nose. I would never have thought this to be a 12 Year old Single Malt.

Palate: Watery and Thin. I find Sugar, slightly Bitter Wood, Mint, Cereals, Malt, Toffee, light Spices, Nut Shells and a faint hint of Vanilla.

Finish: Short with Sugar, Toffee, Nut Shells, Black Pepper, Dusty Wood, Menthol and hints of Metal and Bitter Citrus.

I added a bit of Water. The Nose becomes quite Thin but also slightly Floral.  Palate and Finish become unacceptably thin but also less Bitter and less Spicy. Strange as it may seem, you can actually play with a little Water here.

Rating: 68.5

Nose: 16.5 - Taste: 17 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 17.5


General Remarks: The Speyside Distillery Project started in 1962 when George Christie bought some land near Drumguish. Production however only started in 1990. Today it is owned by Harvey's of Edinburgh. Speyside is actually a very small distillery with an annual output of around 500.000 litres. Under the old private owners, the distillery also produced Drumguish. You can find this Single Malt at prices that vary between 30 and 50 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average.

Conclusion:  In a Blind Tasting Session I almost certainly would have qualified the Speyside 12 Years as a cheap Bottom Shelf Blend. I can't find interesting Aromas and Flavours. Both Spirit and used Casks are just not good enough to consider the Speyside 12 as a sipping Malt. And you can find lots of better and also cheaper options if you like to drink your whisky on the Rocks or use it in cocktails. The Speyside 12 is one of the worst Single Malts I have tasted so far. My advise is to leave this kid alone!

Jan van den Ende                                                                April 2014

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