Single malt whisky - tasting notes

18 May 2012

Speyburn Solera Cask

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Speyburn

Here’s the limited Speyburn Solera Cask I was talking about yesterday. It was launched in 2008 after 25 years of maturation.

As you know, solera is the famous system of gradually blending (sherry) casks (in layers or criaderas) and it seems this Speyburn release was inspired on this type of maturation.

Now when I read “Solera” I would expect that it was mixed from a range of younger / older casks or at least the whisky was matured entirely in sherry casks, but in this case I think it was just some sort of “inspiration”. Even at the distillery they weren’t very clear about the actual reasoning behind the name.

 

Speyburn 25yo Solera caskSpeyburn 25 yo ‘Solera cask’
(46%, OB 2011)

Nose: quite mashy with a lot of waxy notes, heather and grasses. A surprise as I was expecting oloroso sherry and this doesn’t have an obvious sherry influence (well… there’s some dry manzanilla character). Dry walnuts. Quite fragrant but its style is more akin to the Highlands than to the traditional Speyside theme. Faint hints of vanilla and some toffee help it not to become too austere. Mouth: more rounded and a little sweeter, with a full taste and pleasant texture. Again quite some malty notes together with hints of herbs / grasses / tea. Oak spices. Waxy notes. A little lemon zest. Finish: long, with more malt, herbs and dry walnuts.

Certainly a confident malt, with a pleasant character, but the ‘Solera’ title might be disappointing when you’re expecting to find an obvious sherry influence. Around € 100 which is an interesting price of course compared to other 25 year-olds.

Score: 83/100

Speyburn Solera Cask 3 Ruben Luyten 2012-05-18

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1601 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.