More glorious undisclosed Speyside 1973 coming up! The first one is more of a reference sample, as it is a shared cask and we’ve already reviewed the Archives counterpart. The other two are slightly more recent, bottled by Whisky-Fässle and Mancarella who already had a sister cask before.
In my opinion the downside of this kind of comparison is the tendency to exaggerate differences, simply because you’re willing to translate your preferences into numbers. In reality though, these casks are all very closely together, closer than the actual score may indicate.
Speyside Region 43 yo 1973
(46,5%, Liquid Treasures 2017, Fino sherry butt #9, 120 btl.)
Nose: very bright take-off, with citrusy notes and plenty of menthol. Beeswax and honey. A little candle wax. Oranges, slightly sour pineapple and cape gooseberries. Whiffs of leather.
Mouth: yeah, great. Fruit bomb, plenty of oranges, tangerines, tinned pineapple. Then slowly moving towards herbs (fennel seeds, aniseed) and leather. Minty / resinous notes and a slight ‘green’ touch too.
Finish: long, warmer again, with some oak and blood oranges.
Lovely whisky and perhaps the most balanced. Yesterday it was still € 420 from eSpirits. Sold out during the day nonetheless.
Speyside Region 44 yo 1973 (49,6%, Mancarella 2017, sherry cask, 90 btl.)
Nose: same elegance, but it grows wider and is slightly more aromatic. More towards papaya and mango, as well as apricots. A very creamy fruitiness, with the same amounts of beehive notes and more vanilla. Darker honey, even a trace of roasted malt in the background.
Mouth: okay now this one has more minty notes and spices from the oak. Still some peaches and lime, but it’s the resinous, warm oakiness that plays the first fiddle. White pepper. Some grapefruit. Touches of caramel and creamy vanilla.
Finish: long, minty, soft grassy touches and lingering fruits.
On the nose, this one wins. The tropical side is bigger and the added vanilla makes it even more sexy. On the palate it is a little more woody, but overall it still ends among the best 1973’s in my book. Around € 390, but I’m not sure it is widely available.
Speyside Region 43 yo 1973 (51,3%, Whisky-Fässle, sherry butt)
Nose: this one is slightly more closed at first, with light hints of glue, that could be the higher ABV. As it folds open, it is again slightly warmer than the Liquid Treasures bottling, with more tangerine and apricot and less of the mentholated notes. However it does have a little more obvious oak than the Mancarella version. Nicely polished oak, mind you.
Mouth: a stronger alcohol presence, for sure, which also seems to underscore the menthol and waxy notes. Still, great tropical notes in a second wave: pineapple, tangerine, passion fruits and later more grapefruit. Pepper and ginger. Leathery notes and a light flowery touch (jasmin)?
Finish: long, with some oaky notes, fruit tea and a mentholated fade.
This one grabs bronze today for being more oak-influenced. Still excellent whisky though, after all a snapshot of a specific line-up. Sold out, I believe.