Well this is an oddity – a 14 year old Glen Spey that has been additionally matured (for 14 months) in an ex-Islay cask. Outside of that, Glen Spey is a real workhorse distillery – and of the four Rothes-based sites, it receives by far the lowest level of enthusiast recognition. IMO it’s only really independent bottlers that keep any interest in this distillery as a single malt in its own right going.
A bottle of this Watt Whisky special can be for £65.95 from The Whisky Exchange here in the UK.
Nose: Dirty martini olive brine, coal tar and smoked meats sit with potato salad, gravel and preserved lemon. In the background, medicinal wipes, graphite dust and wet soils. The addition of water offers green apple slices, white grapes and cold cream together with a sense of firm sea breeze.
Taste: Fruits first – apples, limes and pineapple. Then a surprisingly big peat complement – fireplace ash, bandages and tinctures and brine together with jelly sweets, pine needles and leaf mulch. Reduction here is interesting – smoked lemon, white chocolate and forest floors together with pumice and shingle.
Finish: Short to medium and offering apple gel, eucalyptus and residual ashiness.
You could easily be forgiven for thinking that this Watt Whisky Glen Spey had been created from peated distillate as opposed to merely being matured in an ex-peated cask – the influence on the spirit is colossal. Despite usually favouring distillate character over maturation influence I can on occasion be persuaded otherwise. This is one of those occasions. Characterful, concentrated and bottled at a spot on ABV. Very nice – great success.