Review: Speyburn 18 Years Old
A tag on the neck of this new whisky reveals that its an “Anniversary Edition.” The anniversary of what? Well, it’s Distillery Manager Bobby Anderson’s 18th year on the job at Speyburn, so the distillery is launching an 18 year old version of this whisky in his honor.
Always an incredible value, it’s nice to see Speyburn continuing to move its way toward older and older bottlings. (Old Speyburn can be quite lovely.) This expression eschews parlor tricks and goes with a straightforward aging regimen: It’s matured in both bourbon and sherry casks for 18 years, though the proportion of each is not disclosed.
Let’s dive in.
The nose here is classic, sherried Speyside: Malty and rich, nutty, with ample sherry giving it a spicy, citrus peel kick. Notes of camphor and eucalyptus provide a nostril-clearing punch, with just a ton of spice coming on after those more pungent notes blow off.
The palate largely follows suit. There’s plenty of sherry here; on first blush it feels like it could well be a Macallan bottling. Ample notes of orange peel and lemon peel dominate on the tongue, with a malty, ruddy character smoldering beneath. A drop of water is a nice touch, helping notes of walnut, nutmeg, red wine to percolate — but the finish belongs to the wood-heavy sherry character.
Sherry fans: Run, don’t walk, to pick up this rare 18 year old that can be yours for just about 100 bucks.
A- / $125 / speyburn.com