I quickly tried this Glen Spey 1978 when it came out, thought it wasn’t good enough to buy, and tried it again – in better conditions – at the final Fulldram tasting some time ago.
That’s right, the renowned whisky club from Leuven has put an end to its whisky tastings. After eleven years they thought it was getting too hard to stick to their standards of the highest quality whisky, at least within reasonable membership prices. After all they started in a climate of Brora 30, Glen Garioch 1968, Ardbeg 1967, Springbank Local Barley 1966, Macallan 1965, Ben Nevis 1966… all of which were poured at one of their tastings.
I have been lucky enough to attend many of their events during the last couple of years, and now I’m part of the Fulldram ‘degustation’ club which is a lot smaller and looks at all kinds of interesting foods and drinks (Madeira, sherry, beer, chocolate, meat, you name it).
Glen Spey 35 yo 1978 (52,1%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams 2013)
Nose: nicely fruity. Gummi bears, orange juice and vanilla marshmallow. Something slightly milky (milkshake). Sweet grasses and hay. Then back to strawberry notes and peaches. Wax candles. A little eucalyptus and oak.
Mouth: bittersweet onset, certainly oaked. Herbal honey, peaches on syrup, a little pepper. Pineapple cubes. Hints of vanilla custard. Sweet aniseed, grasses and sweetened tea towards the end.
Finish: long, oaky, showing pepper and mint, with green tea and just a little tangy oak.
A rather oak-driven Glen Spey, without crossing a line and bringing enough sweet fruity notes to keep the right balance. Around € 160 back then – in hindsight I think I should have bought a bottle.