This Speyburn was matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel for 8 years. Young and Spritely profile.
Nose: Bakery time – quite bready and yeasty with aromas of buns and pastries. Coffee and walnut cake in particular comes through – reminding me of my childhood – one of my mother’s most often made cakes. Apples are the basis for fruit here – toffee covered. In the background floralness – elderflower. The addition of water really brings out the ex-bourbon cask influence with tons of oak – wood planking, chips and sawdust – as well as adding further sweetness with a fruit tea infusion.
Taste: An arrival packed full of sweetness – Fox’s Glacier Fruits, and very tangy sugar-dusted lemon and lime. Bakery continues, now with more of an ex-bourbon slant – vanilla cream cakes and custard. In the mid to back palate some earthiness and forest moss. When reduced, fruits are softer and more syrupy, ginger is expressed and the wood becomes quite sappy and indicative of its young age.
Finish: Medium in length, very oaky and supported by creamy vanilla custard.
This Speyburn is certainly young and spritely – the nose is much more successful than the palate, but both still provide oodles of cask influence and intense sweetness. Despite possessing a sweet-tooth, this is a little too much for me and I’d prefer a lot more spirit character than is on display here. Conversely, the refill barrel used here has certainly been highly active and the overall result in some ways belies the 8 year old age-statement. If you’re and ant for sugar this could be right up your alley.