Category Archives: Glen Spey

Glen Spey 1988 26-year-old

Bought: Bartels Whisky, 6th October 2015

0/100 – Whiskybase (no rating yet)

With only 35 bottles of this Glen Spey produced, it’s hardly surprising there are no reviews for it on Whiskybase, or anywhere! But I’ve tasted it so brace yourself for my opinion! Bartels Whisky sent me a sample as part of my previous order. I’d never tried a Glen Spey before but wow, what a surprise! It’s just as well I’m not a member of Whiskybase or I’d be rating it 95/100 and causing the admin to think I work for Bartels Whisky. Not that there are any bottles of this Glen Spey left for them to promote but I certainly rate them as an excellent independent bottler.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any formal tasting notes for this Glen Spey but my overall impression about it was “typical Speyside flavour” but with a fantastic spring-grass freshness that I’d never encountered in a whisky before. The finish was long and left me wanting more. It must be Glen Spey season because Morrison & Mackay, another independent bottler, also sent me a 23yo to try, which had similar qualities but a bit more muted than the 26yo.

This Glen Spey has taught me that there are still some surprises to be had and the more obscure distilleries are well worth trying.

Here are the tasting notes from Master of Malt:

Nose: Buttery shortbread, ginger biscuits and a good dollop of apple-sauce.

Palate: Citrus peels (think lemon and lime in equal measures), more gingerbread, a touch of caramel.

Finish: Quite long, packed with Rolos and Toffee Crisp bars.

Here’s ‘The Good Dram Show’ on You Tube with their review of this Glen Spey, the second of a series of 6 single malts from Bartels Whisky (Sept 2015):

Glen Spey 1988 26yo 70cljpg

Glen Spey 16-year-old (1995/2011)

Bought – Justminiatures, 13th November 2013

81/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)

This miniature by the independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail (G&M) is part of their ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range. Scoring 81/100 on Whiskybase is a reasonable score albeit from only 2 member votes. But that’s for the 70cl version. Usually you expect the 70cl and 5cl to be the same whisky but this is a curious example. The 70cl has the G&M code behind the label starting ‘AA’ which means it was bottled in 2011. My 5cl bottle has the code starting ‘AB’, which means it was bottled in 2012. Nevertheless both 70cl and 5cl state on the front of the label that they were bottled in 2011. Bizarre!

Glen Spey is an obscure distillery, mostly because it was always intended to provide its output for blending rather than stand-alone distillery malts. Owned by Diageo, the principal blends that use Glen Spey are J&B and Spey Royal. The house style is light-bodies, sweet, malty, floral and a hint of spice.

Glen Spey 1995 16yo 5cl