Our MAlt of the MOnth this month is the Speyburn 10 year old.
Speyburn distillery was built in 1897 by John Hopkins. It sits in the middle of Speyside which is officially in the Highlands, but it is far more reflective of the style to call it a Speyside. So it’s from Speyside, but a Highland, only Speyside-ey in nature. Simple enough? Hoorah!
Speyburn 10 year old is a delightful malt, which has been embraced in the USA, where it is now one of the biggest selling single malts. It is an extremely clean spirit of the highest quality and purity. Ageing is in ex bourbon barrels, which explains why it is popular in the States. For a single malt to be commercially produced, it needs to be aged in american oak. There simply isn’t enough sherry aged these days for a ‘main stream’ whisky to carry Olorossa barrel ageing. Luckily the Yanks are quite parochial, and like whiskies aged in their own oak, which explains the popularity of this whisky over there. The demand in the States is so great we don’t often get to see it in Australia, so this is a rare opportunity to give one of the worlds most popular and underrated single malts a try.
The thing that makes Speyburn 10 year old unique is its ginger character. It is really quite pronounced. I call this my CWA whisky. There are also distinctive bakery smells like short bread and scone, combined with ginger bread, it is sure to be a hit at the next Country Women’s Association meeting.
There is a wonderfully nuttiness and apricot characters. Speyburn 10 year old is a very easy to drink whisky, but also has layers of complexity for those who wish to search for them making it a good entertaining single malt. When you have friends over who want to try a single malt, you can happily share with them a dram of Speyburn as it is sure to impress (and not overwhelm) the inexperienced, yet has enough complexity there for the advanced pallet also.