Next up is the Secret Speyside release from
independent bottler Lady of the Glen. I met Gregor the man behind
the range recently and bought a couple of bottles from him including
this mysterious Speyside release. The other bottle I’ve reviewed already
was from Ben Nevis distillery and you can read about that right here.
to this enigma of a bottle and I’m not even going to speculate where
it’s from nor did I trouble Gregor by asking. What it comes down
to are the contents and whether the asking price justifies the
experience. Independent bottlers seem to have an imaginary code of
conduct when it comes to bottling and featuring the distillery name.
Ideally it should never be larger than the company logo itself and in
some cases the distillery prefers not to see its name on any bottling
whatsoever. In these situations the bottler may openly hint at its
origins, never going so far as to confirm it publically or other may
include a local landmark on the label design thereby highlighting the
source in a sly manner.
of course you have the teaspooning of whisky which is adding a touch of
whisky from another distillery to the cask. This is done to protect the
brand of source distillery, some of whom may not agree with independent
bottlers and are very protective of their brand. By doing this the cask
cannot be sold as a single malt. An example would be Westport that is a
cask of Glenmorangie with a splash of Glen Moray to highlight but one.
Whether distillers actually go to the physical lengths of adding another
distillery whisky is open to speculation but on the paperwork you’re not
able to label it as a single malt. On the flipside this Lady of the
Glen release is of unknown but the teaspooning scenario would allow the
origins to be disclosed.
it comes to whisky I’m all for full disclosure generally and in this
example we have all the necessary information apart from the distillery.
An asking price of £71.00 for a 20 year old malt is reasonable in my
Distillery: to quote Toyah - it’s a mystery
Distilled: October 1994
Cask: refill bourbon hogshead
Cask number: 1171
Outturn: 262 bottles
Strength: 52.3% ABV
Additional: non-chill filtered
Nose: custard creams, a wicker basket and a forest of bamboo. Juicy fruit notes arrive with pineapple, white grapes and tangerines. Beyond I'm reminded of Tunnock's Snowballs and there is a touch of balsamic vinegar on the fringes.
Taste: a lovely malty texture with crushed digestive biscuits and marshmellows. Again those juicy fruits deliver with added wine gums. Going right into the sweetshop references I'm also taken with almonds in the form of a Dime bar and Werther's Originals.
I'm pleased with this 20 year old Speysider. Overall I'd categorise it as a real crowd pleaser and entertainer, with enough character to keep you pleasantly involved.
Labels: 20 year old, lady of the glen, review, scotch, secret speyside, Speyside, taste, whisky