A Splendid Speyside Surprise Review

“She’s a Mystery To Me” 

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside  
Brand: A Splendid Speyside Surprise (The Soul of Scotland Series)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 17 Years
ABV: 48.5 %
Sample provided by Thomas from Germany. Many Thanks!

Colour: Golden

Nose: Alternate Fruity and Floral tones. Be sure to give this Malt some time to breathe. I find Malt, Butterscotch, Toffee, Buttered Toast, Honey, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruits, Heather, Grandma's Fragrant Soap, Sherry, a hint of Sulphur, light Vanilla, Canned Pineapple in Syrup, Dusty Road, Wood, light Cinnamon, light Clove, Nuts and Espresso. It's all pretty Delicate despite the quite strong Alcohol that's still around. A bit Musty as well.

Palate: Here the Sherry is much more present. I find Nuts and Raisins, Honey, Toffee, Orange, Canned Peaches in Syrup, Brown Sugar, slightly Bitter Oak, Musty Dried Herbs, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Pepper and Licorice.

Finish: Middle Long and Bitter Sweet with slightly Bitter Orange, Berries, Bitter Oak, Toffee, Hazelnuts, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Mint and Licorice. Quite Dry in the end.

The Splendid Speyside Surprise does not improve with added Water. It gets very Sweet and Malty. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 84.5 

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21 

River Spey (Photo Credit: Rene Ramon)

General Remarks: The Splendid Speyside Surprise was distilled in 1995. It matured in an Ex-Bourbon Cask and was bottled in 2012 for Anam Na H-Alba, the Independent Whisky bottler from Oberhausen in GermanyThis Single Malt Single Cask Whisky is Uncoloured and Non Chill-Filtered. It was sold at roughly 75 US Dollars per bottle. I'm not sure it's still around! 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: A nice but not perfect Speysider. Quite Fruity, Floral, Delicate and a bit Musty on the Nose. More Robust on the Palate with Sherry and lots of Herbs, Spices and Oak. Personally I believe this rather delicate Spirit has overstayed its time in the Cask a bit. Perhaps 15 Years would have been quite sufficient. It's not easy to identify the Distillery that produced this Spirit. If pressed, I would say that the Sherry and the Earthy, Dusty Feeling would point in the direction of Aberlour or Glenfarclas. But my guess is as good as yours. If you have any info on the matter, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Jan van den Ende                                                         December 15, 2014

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