Speyburn 18 Years

“Cheap Thrills”

Whisky Review # 1001

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Speyburn
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Anniversary Edition - 9000 Bottles 
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: A mix of American - and Spanish Oak (Bourbon + Sherry)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 75 -100 (December 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍 Good Price/Quality ratio
Buying Advice: 😐 A good alternative if you like Oloroso driven Single Malts

Colour: Dark Amber with shades of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)


Be sure to give this Speyburn enough time in the glass before Nosing as it opens up rather slowly. There's a bit of Sulphur around as well but it stays within acceptable limits. The Oloroso casks are quite noticeable as Toffee, Dried Fruit, Nuts and Spices lead the way. It's mostly Sweet and a little Dusty. The Alcohol is noticeable as well. It's a rather typical Medium-Dry Oloroso nose without too many surprises. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Toffee/Caramel, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Dates, Figs & Plums, Wax, Nougat, Milk and White Chocolate, Dark Red Fruit, Charred Oak, Espresso, Cloves, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Marzipan, Tropical Fruit-flavored Candies, Orange, Lemon, Candied Apple, Red Grapes, Nectarine and Peach, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Grass, Dusty Road, Curry and Mint.   


The profile follows the Nose but the Alcohol is even more noticeable. It's basically a Bitter-Sweet palate but Sour and Salty notes can be found as well. Quite Dry and a little Dusty. Like the Nose it's not bad but a bit predictable. 

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Molasses, Dark Red Fruit, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Apricots, Plums, Figs and Dates, Nuts, Charred Oak, Orange and Lemon, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Menthol    

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Dried Herbs, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Red Grapes, Gooseberry & Grapefruit, Nectarine, Wet Paper, Grass, Licorice, Coconut Meat, Ginger, Cinnamon and Cardamom.   


Middle-Long and mostly Sweet. A few Bitter and Salty notes towards the Dry end. The Alcohol remains a factor to be considered. I find Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Dark Honey, Dark Chocolate, Nuts, Espresso, Dark Red Fruit, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Apricots, Plums, Dates), Charred Oak, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Grapefruit, Gooseberry, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Curry, Nutmeg and Menthol.  

Drinking Advice:

Added Water helps to control the Alcohol. You will also get Peach-Flavored Yogurt on the Nose. In general the Fruitiness improves in this department. The Palate also benefits from a little Water but don't overdo it. The Finish becomes a little Thin and Watery with tons of Menthol. But a few drops really improve this Speyburn.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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 realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


The Speyburn Distillery is located in Rothes and was founded in 1897 by the Hopkin Family. Today it is owned by Inver House Distillers, part of Thai Beverage PLC. The distillery is quite popular in the USA, mostly because of the low price I suppose. Next to the Bradan Orach, the core range includes a 10, 15 and 18 Years old. Most of the production goes into Blends like Inver House. This year the distillery opened to the public.

The Speyburn 18 Years was bottled on August 21, 2021 to commemorate the 18th Anniversary of Bobby Anderson as Distillery Manager.

This Speyburn offers good value for money if you like Oloroso driven Single Malts. It does not present major flaws but it is quite predictable. I enjoyed my sample but I'm glad I don't have to finish a full bottle. But if you like Glenfarclas, GlenDronach and/or Glengoyne you should give this Speyburn a chance! 


Jan van den Ende                                                                     December 7, 2023

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