One of the main assets for visitors could be their steam-driven pneumatic drum maltings. Instead of spreading the barley on a malting floor, it was brought into big perforated cylinders through which hot air was blown. That way the barley could be dried quicker and in a much smaller space but energy-wise it turned out not to be particularly efficient. The process was abandoned six years after installation. It’s rather unique though and now protected as whisky heritage.
Speyburn boasts only one standard bottling, a Speyburn 10 years old. It used to be one of the most popular malts in the United States (still its biggest market by far) but in Europe you’ll rarely bump into it.
The occasional limited releases (Speyburn 25yo Solera Cask and Speyburn Bradan Orach) haven’t caused much of a stir either, although I’m sure many people will have their eyes opened by the upcoming Speyburn 1975 Clan Cask. It will be interesting to see the effect of such a high quality (and relatively high priced) bottling for a distillery with an essentially entry-level profile.
Speyburn 10 years old
(40%, OB 2012)
Nose: a classic Speyside youngster with pears and apples, citrus, vanilla and plenty of malty notes. Not bad. Mouth: sweet, very malty and cereally (Frosties). Finish: sweet, still focused on malty notes.
A fresh and very harmless whisky for blend drinkers who want to take a little step up. Around € 30.