View Full Version : (Region #1) The Speyside Malt Thread
I thought it might be fun to break down Scotch Whisky discussion by whiskey-producing region.
Discuss your favorites.
Which distilleries do you like?
Which don't you care for?
What sort of qualities do you look for in a Speyside Malt?
For those who may be new to Scotch whisky and need some examples, the following are excellent examples of the Speyside Malts:
Things I like about Speyside Malts:
1) Availability. You can find them almost anywhere.
2) Mouthfeel. They are consistently smooth. Some moreso than others, however.
3) Opportunity for interesting expressions. While Glenmorangie, of the Central Highlands, may have pioneered multi-cask maturation, the distilleries of Speyside, particular Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and Balvenie, have taken to it very well, I believe.
The Glenfiddich Solera Reserve is one such example. The Glenlivet has certainly found ways to put French Oak to good use, as nearly half their lineup utilizes it somehow. The Balvenie DoubleWood is truly a classic in its own right.
IMHO, their mild, austere, elegant flavor profile helps them become a suitable canvas to showcase the Master Distiller's craft.
Speyside is definitely my favorite region composing over 50% of my single malt bunker. I would guess the majority of single malt drinkers probably started out with either Glenlivet or Glenfiddich so it provides a comfortable entry point (especially for those not ready to face Islays).
I think the thing I most like about the Speysides is the diversity you find from distillery to distillery. However, looking at my bunker I do find that my tastes really seem to concentrate in two distinct types:
1) The Sherry monsters - While Aberlour a'bunadh is definitely my favorite, I also enjoy Glenfarclas and several of the Macallen expressions. I always found it kind of ironic that while I love the sherried single malts, I really don't enjoy sherry by itself or in most cooking (I hate when it is added to lobster bisque).
2) The peated Speysides - It took me a long time to try them (to be honest I didn't even know they existed for a long time), but now Benriach and Admore are definitely my go to bottles when I want to go to the smoky side. I've found that I really enjoy the heavy peat when the iodine of the salty sea is absent.
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