Speyside ‘Spey Tenné’

Bought: Whisky Barrel, 6th May 2015

Ratings:
90/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
76.27/100 – Whiskybase (average from 13 member votes)

When I started collecting whisky in 2013 there were only 8 bottles listed from the Speyside distillery in the Whisky Bible. None of these scored into the 90s. I decided to get a miniature of the controversial ‘Cu Dhub’ to tick the distillery off my list. Two years later and I decided to revisit what Speyside had to offer and, WOW, what a turnaround! The number of bottles listed in the Whisky Bible 2015 had doubled to 16, and several scored 90+. Not only were there new independent bottlings but the distillery had been busy too with a 12yo, 18yo, ‘Chairman’s Choice’, ‘Royal Choice’ and the ‘Tenné’. Of the 5, the Tenné scores the highest in the Bible with 90/100.

I’m a bit disappointed with the low rating on Whiskybase for the Tenné. You have to wonder if this is due to the Speyside’s lowly reputation, rather than how the Tenné actually tastes. Looking at individual reviews written about the Tenné on the internet, comments are very favourable. To quote the description of this whisky from The Whisky Exchange – “aged initially in bourbon casks, Spey Tenné is finished for six months in Tawny Port casks. With a minimum age of eight years, this is a sweet and fruity whisky.”

The Tenné is a limited release of 18,000 bottles, so less than the Talisker 25yo I previously blogged about which was 21,000. It’s already sold out in various places. Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, loves it, saying of the taste “creamy, sugary, and melt-in-the mouth; the cherry-grape fruits are omnipresent.” He observes that the bright colour comes from using “brand spanking new port casks” but, instead of being a negative, he says “those Tawny Port casks have brought something magical to the table. And glass.”

I have bottle number 1738 of 18,000. It contains no added colour, is non chill-filtered and has a sturdy 46% vol. Not only that, the bottle shape is very elegant.

Here’s Horst Luening with his thoughts on You Tube (May 2015):

Speyside Spey Tenné NAS 70cl

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