Whisky Articles

Distillery Tour #3: Speyburn


Grab your drink and drink up, because we’ve got another distillery visit to complete before the day is over! The second day of our bloggers’ whisky tour saw not one (having already visited Balblair) but two distillery visits – the second being Speyburn. I really enjoyed our visit to Speyburn as it was completely different to the other two distilleries we had visited thus far on our tour. That’s because Speyburn doesn’t normally offer tours, which meant that they did not have all the guest facilities of the other two distilleries. Our tour thus started and ended in the Manager’s (Robert ‘Bobby’ Anderson, if memory serves me right) rather cozy office.

As I mentioned in my Balblair post I won’t be going into much detail on the tour itself. What I will mention, however, is that Speyburn was the first distillery to install Henning’s Pneumatic Drum Maltings (pictured below), putting an end to mucking around on the floor. While still proudly exhibited, they are unfortunately no longer in use as they can’t produce the quantity now needed by the distillery.

Hennings Pneumatic Drum Maltings

Moving swiftly on to the tasting, we were offered Bradan Orach, the 10 year old, and a sniff of the Clan Cask. As I’ve already reviewed Bradan Orach I won’t go into detail on that, and as I didn’t taste the Clan Cask (I was being too slow with the other two!) I won’t write about that either. Oh, we did get to try their new-make as well, though, so I will start off with that and then move on to the 10.

The new-make has a very sweet nose filled with praline, nuts (Brazil? Almonds?), a slice of banana, vanilla, and icing sugar. A very sniffable new-make spirit indeed, the palate followed along highly similar lines. The 10 year old showed a remarkable likeness to the new-make, with that same sweetness coming through from the start on the nose, along with some added citrus which broke it off nicely. The palate offers up more banana, some pear, and grass. A very controlled palate and, if I am to be completely honest, not terribly interesting. The aftertaste has a beer-like, biscuity note to it which is pleasant but by no means mind-blowing.


On second thought I suppose I could offer some quick notes on the Clan Cask nose, even though I haven’t tasted it – no point taking notes if I’m not going to share them! It is very different to both the 10 year old and the new-make, offering up rich sherry, warm molasses, juicy raisins, oak and a hint of dark chocolate. A very interesting nose in my opinion, and one I hope to treat my palate to in the not too distant future!

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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