Speyside 1991 (Carn Mor)

(Picture Credit: Whisky Shop Dufftown)

”Wood I Lie To You”

Whisky Review # 974

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Speyside - Distilled 11-11-1991
Bottled by: Morrison & MacKay on 20/02/2017 - 533 Bottles
Series: Carn Mor (Celebration of the Cask)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Cask #: 940
Age: 25 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 62.5%
Maturation: Re-Fill European Oak Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-200 (January 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay. A 25 Year-old Whisky can't be cheap of course
Buying Advice:😐 Well-made but way too Woodie for me


Old Gold (Natural Colour)


The Alcohol is very strong and the cask influence is obvious. So please Nose along the rim of the glass to find the other Aromas. You will find lots of Dried Fruits and Spices. Christmas is in the Air! It's Sweet but not annoyingly so. A few Tart & Sour notes provide balance. There's a hint of Smoked Meat in the background. It's not overly complicated but it's got character!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, Caramel, Butter Biscuits, Sweet Sherry, Cooked Apples and Pears, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Nectarine, Pineapple and Mango, Red Berries, Nuts, X-mas Cake, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Apple-Treacle, Resin, Heather-Honey, Slivovitz, Citrus Fruit (Orange, Lemon, Red Grapefruit), Smoked Meat on the BBQ, Varnish, Dusty Earth, Straw, Dried Herbs & Chocolate.

Picture Credit: Whisky.com


Bitter-Sweet and Sour. The Alcohol is very strong. Sweet Sherry, Wood and Spices lead the way.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Caramel, X-Mas Pudding, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Pineapple & Apple, Citrus Fruit (Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon), Oloroso Sherry, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Earth, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Wax, Apple-Treacle, Gooseberry, Nuts, Ginger, Licorice and Varnish.


Medium-Long. A mix of Bitter-Sweet & Sour notes. Quite Dry towards the end. The Alcohol is quite present and the dram almost screams for a little Water to ease the pain! I find lots of Dusty Wood, Spices like Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger and Sweet Oloroso Sherry as well as Malted Barley, Butterscotch, Apple Treacle, Cooked Pears and Apples, Heather-Honey, Mixed Dried Fruits and Nuts, Citrus such as Orange, Lemon and Grapefruit, White Chocolate, Strong Espresso, Charred Meat, Caramel, Vanilla and Mint.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water helps to calm down the heat on the Nose and some juicy additional Peach develops. But on the Palate and in the Finish the heat increases quite a lot unexpectedly. My advice is to drink it neat (despite the high ABV) to better enjoy the Flavors.

 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.8 - Finish: 7.3  - Overall: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system as of today. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realise pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat:

Good but too Woody for my taste.


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 850.000 litres.

This Speyside Malt certainly shows character but it's too much driven by Wood and Spices that control all the other Aromas & Flavors, even the Sweet Oloroso Sherry. And added Water increases the problem! I enjoyed the Tasting experience but I'm glad I only had a sample. A full bottle would be too much. If you like the profile I would still urge you to look for a sample first. You know me long enough to know I wood not dare to lie to you 😎.

Cheers! 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                         January 5, 2023

Picture Credit: Whisky.com

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