Only the ninth SMWS bottling from this slightly elusive Speyside distillery. It’s all in the name here with a flying salmon being part of the Speyburn logo for many a year. Matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel for a mere 8 years. Light and Delicate profile.
Nose: Opening with aromas which conjure up the Great British Bake Off - Apple turnovers, cream buns, vanilla icing, chocolate cake and digestive biscuits. In the background some earthiness – part soils, part mineral like wet slate. The addition of water heightens the chocolate note, adds rich toffee and allows a touch of grassiness to escape – light, fresh, green and newly cut.
Taste: Fresh and crisp with zesty citrus (particularly limes) , chocolate and a hint of Ovaltine. Bakery notes translate across to the palate well with both biscuits and butter cream adding flavour and a sense of weight to the liquid. The cask influence can be detected in the mid to back palate with vanilla essence and light pepperiness starting to make themselves known. A few drops of water softens the fruits and adds both ginger and some leafiness – mosses and lichen.
Finish: Medium in length and quite woody – vanillins and warming pepper fading in sharp, metallic minerality.
This Speyburn is a refreshing summery dram that is very spirit driven until the back palate and finish, where the cask starts to take command. Overall it treads a fine line, but manages to retain its sharp and character throughout. A fruit stall in a bake house. Certainly easy to recommend as a starter whisky to a long warm evening.
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