The Speyside whisky-producing region of Scotland is situated in north-eastern part of the country, in the area of Strathspey.
Compared to the larger whisky-producing regions like the Highlands and Lowlands, Speyside is quite small, yet, it’s still home to the greatest number of distilleries out of all the Scottish regions.
Some of the world’s best-selling single malts are also made here, in the wonderful Glenfiddich, Macallan and Glenlivet distilleries.
Whiskies produced in the Speyside region cannot be grouped and described as one, as the region brings forth experimentation and innovation. The great number of distilleries promotes healthy competition, and each establishment infuses their own practices in their products to stay ahead.
Most whiskies distilled in Speyside are rich and sweet, while some are pleasantly peaty.
Anyone willing to search will quickly discover the taste they are seeking in some corner of this wonderful region.
Here are some of our favourites to get you started on your whisky-seeking adventure.
Glenlossie 18 Year (Maltman, 1997) – £159.00
This one is a Whisky Foundation exclusive, making this the place to sample it.
Aged for 18 years, with a sherry Pedro Ximenez finish, the whisky brings an intense spiciness to the nose and palate. The finish releases sherry notes and marmalade smoothness to create a wonderful balance.
Let 18 years of careful maturation surprise and please your palate.
Glen Grant 37 Year (Berrys, 1974) – £302.11
The Glen Grant distillery was the first to be built in the town of Rothes, situated in centre of Speyside, and is well-respected throughout the region.
For good reason. This 37 year-old release showcases everything the distillery has to offer, with some bold, big flavours coming forth to explode on the drinker’s palate.
Dried fruit, citrus tones, and coffee notes are all present on the nose and palate, with the coffee flavour intensifying near the finish.
The whisky showcases a surprising liveliness, given the 37 years spent mellowing in its oak surroundings.
Glenlivet 33 Year (Signatory, 1981) – £445.22
The Glenlivet distillery is one of the largest, most famous powerhouses in Speyside.
The name goes hand-in-hand with single malt Scotch whisky, and their bottles can be found in almost every corner of the globe. In this 33 year-old release, one can easily see why The Glenlivet has reached such fame.
Sweet toffee, honey, and fresh summer apple notes immediately come to the nose, preparing the drinker for the richness they are about to experience. Yet, the depth and weight still surprises the palate, as the sweet creaminess brings with it a dark, warming spiciness, bringing balance straight to mind.
The finish comes with a building, hot spiciness of cinnamon and sugar, while vanilla undertones soothe and please.
Macallan 27 Year (Signatory, 1989) – £628.08
Aged in a single hogshead cask and bottled at cask strength, 59.4 %, rest assured – you are in for a treat.
The world-renowned Macallan distillery’s craft and expertise have made this limited release highly sought after. As only 118 bottles were produced, the urgency to get a bottle increases.
The signature sweet, rich, and incredibly smooth character of Macallan whisky has only been nurtured and intensified over the 27 years this whisky spent in oak.
The distillery produces the third best-selling single malt in the world, so one shouldn’t worry about being disappointed.
Glenfiddich 30 Year (1976) – £1033.55
We finish off the list with an unbelievably rare bottle by the world-known Glenfiddich distillery.
Light flavours of citrus come together with notes of dark, rich chocolate and smooth vanilla. The 30 years spent soaking in a sherry cask have added a rich depth to the aforementioned flavours, and created a rare smoothness not easily found in older whiskies.
The finish brings spice and honeyed fruit, and leaves you wanting for nothing.
Presented in a beautiful wooden box, this bottle is one you will truly struggle with. Do you open it? Or let it rest on the shelf for another decade?