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The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey

the-best-speyside-scotch-whiskey

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey- Whiskies that hail from Speyside are one of the most popular, universally known and enjoyable whiskies among all the variances of Scotch whiskies available today.

Speyside is located in Northeastern Scotland in the Strathspey area.

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Speyside single malts are single malt Scotch whiskiesdistilled in Strathspey, the area around the River Spey in Moray and Badenoch and Strathspey, in northeastern Scotland.

Broadly speaking, Speyside whiskies can be classified as falling into one of two camps.

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – At one end of the spectrum there are the light, grassy, ‘lunchtime whiskies’ such as Glenlivet; at the other end lie the rich, sweet, sherried qualities of Glenrothes and Macallan.

The same area has one of the highest number of distilleries in Scotland.

Hence, Speyside whisky is sometimes known generally as Scotch.

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Similar to the likes of champagne, not all Scotch whiskies come from Speyside but all Speyside whiskies are Scotch whiskies. 

Speyside whisky, which is known for its elegance comes in a vast range of options.


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Where is the Speyside Region Located?


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – The Spey is Scotland’s longest and second largest river. 

The Spey region is the heart of Scottish whiskey production. 

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Everything that is needed for this is available in the vicinity of the Spey, for example water, peat and barley. 

In addition, many suppliers for whiskey production have settled in Speyside over time. 

These include malthouses, cooperages, blenders and (independent) bottling plants. 

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – There are many distilleries in the immediate vicinity, for example in the towns of Dufftown, Elgin and Rothes. 

Dufftown is also known as the  secret whiskey capital.

Speyside is not a geographic or political-administrative region. 

In contrast to the other distilleries in Scotland, the distilleries in the vicinity of the Spey have grouped themselves regionally in the Speyside. 

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – It roughly corresponds in size to the Council Areas of Moray, or the traditional counties of Morayshire and Banffshire.


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The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey -Glenrothes 40 Year Old


The Glenrothes 40 year old is a rare whisky. Only 594 bottles were released by Berry Bros & Rudd, each individually numbered and presented in an oak box.

The master whisky maker at Glenrothes, Gordon Motion, said that forty years ago, the Glenrothes distillery was different in many ways but the whisky character has remained the same. 

He also said, “This whisky will never exist again and that’s what makes the release of our 40-year-old so special and highlights the true rarity of this expression.” 

Aromas of orange oil, peach, cedar wood and almond waft through the air as soon as you open the Glenrothes 40 year old.

This limited Speyside release has flavors of sultanas, cinnamon and nutmeg that are balanced with tobacco and oak tannin.


Duncan Taylor Dimensions Glenrothes Cask Strength 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Duncan Taylor Dimensions Glenrothes Cask Strength 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky is a privately owned independent producer of Scotch whisky as well as numerous other distilled brands, located in northeast Scotland.

Founded in 1938, Duncan Taylor initially operated in Glasgow as a whisky merchant and broker of Scotch sales between distilleries and independent bottlers and blenders.

The company has now moved its headquarters and bottling facilities to Huntly in Aberdeenshire, not far from the Speyside region, and now focuses on producing and marketing its own brands.

Independent bottlings of single malts and single grains are divided into several groups. In the luxury category, the Tantalus range comprises year-dated bottlings of at least 40 years of age, bottled at cask strength without chill-filtration.

The Rarest Collection reflects its name with special decanters from now-defunct distilleries.

The recently launched super-premium Single range mostly features single malts or grains of at least 30 years old, or which were sourced from distilleries no longer in production, while Dimensions is a collection of single malts and grains from 10 to 39 years old. In both collections each release is a single-cask bottling at cask strength.

Whiskies in the Octave range, meanwhile, are aged for shorter periods in small oak barrels.


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The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – The Macallan


The Macallan is a common household brand for good reason since it has a lot to offer – from introductory whiskeys to special bottlings.

The label on the bottle refers to the Highlands but it is technically a Speyside whisky since it is located as a sub-region within the Highlands.

The Macallan is famous for its smooth tastes and light peatiness despite varying in flavors depending on aging time and so on. 


The Macallan 18 Year Old Double Cask


The Macallan 18 year old double cask is matured in both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks for 18 years.

It is warm and sweet with rich raisin and sultana flavours and notes of caramel, vanilla and ginger balanced with wood spice and zesty citrus.

Seeing that it has been matured in sherry seasoned American casks, this adds vanilla notes to the Speyside whisky and the maturation in European oak adds to the sweeter and warmer character of the whisky.


DUNCAN TAYLOR DIMENSIONS LAPHROAIG 1997 HOGSHEAD - 18YO

DUNCAN TAYLOR DIMENSIONS LAPHROAIG 1997 HOGSHEAD – 22YO


Taste: Intense, Sea, Smoke, MedicinalIslay, Scotland – The traditional smokey and medicinal (iodine) flavors associated with Laphroaig are still present, however they have softened over 22 years in ex-bourbon American oak casks, and have been complimented with salty sea air and citrus lemon notes.


BRAND- Dimensions
COUNTRY p Scotland
Scotch – Single Malt
ABV – 50%
TASTE – Intense, Sea, Smoke, Medicinal, Complex


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The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Balvenie Tun 1509


Batch 8
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Bottling


The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 8 showcases malt master David Stewart MBE’s experience in marrying rare casks and is the final installment in the prestigious Tun 1509 series.

Made with a selection of 18 casks – four ex-bourbon barrels, six second-fill sherry butts, five refill puncheons and three first-fill sherry butts – that have spent three months in a traditional marrying tun.

Aromas of freshly-baked lemon tarts, homemade marmalade, maple syrup and sweet marzipan fill the nose, complemented by notes of rich toffee, creamy vanilla, wild honey, toasted oak, crystalized ginger and cinnamon throughout the palate.


31 YEARS - DUNCAN TAYLOR - RARE AULD GRAIN - CASK NO. 520004 - SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKEY

31 YEARS – DUNCAN TAYLOR – RARE AULD GRAIN – CASK NO. 520004 – SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKEY


In the “Rare Auld Grain” series of the independent bottler Duncan Taylor only the highest quality grain whiskeys are released. 

With these whiskeys, Duncan Taylor shows once again that a good single grain is in no way inferior to a single malt. 

According to the label, this 31-year-old Invergordon comes from a sherry cask.

Unfortunately, it is not defined whether it has been completely stored or finished. 

It was distilled in 1990 and stored in cask number 520004. In 2021 the whiskey was then bottled at cask strength of 45.9% vol., unfiltered and uncoloured. 

The barrel yielded 313 individually numbered bottles. 

He brings notes of oranges and citrus, sweet cereal and soft oak.


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The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey -Glenfiddich 18 Year Old


The Glenfiddich 18 Year Old is aged in fine Spanish Oloroso wood and American oak.

Each batch of this best Speyside whisky is individually numbered and carefully watched over, which produces an extraordinary consistency and character in each bottle. 

Truly exceptional, Speyside’s Glenfiddich 18 delivers flavors of luxurious dried fruit, candy peel and dates which are overlaid with elegant oak notes.

The mid-range price of RM569 for a 70ml bottle is seriously worth every penny.


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Duncan Taylor Single Ben Nevis 25 YO


Highland, Scotland- striking on the nose with hints of paste, acetone and pine – you’d almost pass but citrus saves the day on this sweet gem from the base of Scotland’s tallest peak.

Lemon, and sweet pineapple on the body with exotic fruits.

Dry, lingering finish.Highland, Scotland- striking on the nose with hints of paste, acetone and pine – you’d almost pass but citrus saves the day on this sweet gem from the base of Scotland’s tallest peak.


BRAND – Duncan Taylor
COUNTRY – Scotland
Highland Scotch
Single Malt
ABV – 50%
TASTE – Medium, Vanilla, Dried Fruit, Oat, Complex


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The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Wine Enthusiast -Highlands, Scotland- “”Layers of honey, flowers and light toffee.

The palate entry is totally dry then turns bittersweet; at midpalate tastes of burnt apple crisp, orange zest, fudge and candied nuts appear.

Finishes as grandly and stately as it began.””


SPIRITS TYPE – Scotch
SPIRITS STYLE – Single Malt
ABV 43%
TASTE: Rich, Fruit, Nut, Long


Dimensions Highland Park 17Yr 2004

The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Scotland- Single Cask, Cask Strength Singe Malt from Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, distilled at the Highland Park Distillery on Orkney, Cask 501710928 produced 300 bottles with complex herbal notes like cloves, dried apricots and raisins and even a hint salt in the finish.


BRAND – Dimensions
SPIRITS TYPE – Scotch
SPIRITS STYLE – Single Malt
ABV – 55%
TASTE – Intense, Clove, Dried Fruit, Mineral, Complex


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey


How does a typical Speyside whiskey taste?

Whiskey is not just whiskey and whiskey certainly not. Whiskey is a spelling derived from whiskey in the early 20th century.

Irish distilleries in Dublin added the ‘e’ to the word whiskey to establish an easily recognizable distinction from Scotch or Canadian whisky.

Both spellings are still common in America today.

So that would clarify that there is no Speyside Whiskey, only Speyside Whisky.

So what are the characteristics of Speyside whiskeys?

The whiskeys come from the heart of Scottish whiskey production, a very green and fertile region.

This can also be seen in the taste of Speyside whiskeys, which have a sweet, mild and fruity aroma.

The single malts from Speyside are successful compositions of aromas of flowers, pears, apples, honey and vanilla.

Connoisseurs describe the whiskeys from Speyside as elegant, round and fine.

Although some distilleries still follow traditional paths and add depth to the whiskey with a hint of smoke, the sharp and smoky notes take a back seat.

The mild aroma results from Speyside Whiskey being little or not peated at all.

Speyside whiskeys are mainly stored and matured in sherry casks and American bourbon barrels, occasionally in former rum casks for experimental varieties.

Maturation and storage have a serious impact on the taste of the whisky.

Experts divide Speyside whiskeys into more sherry-heavy whiskeys such as Macallen and Glenrothes or into slightly grassy and light varieties such as Glenlivet.

But there are many other distinguishing features in detail, for example:

rich and round varieties
fruity and spicy varieties
bright and flowery varieties
full-bodied and smoky varieties


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Pale and Floral Speyside Whisky

If you want to buy a Speyside whisky, maybe start with the more subtle varieties. 

A Glen Spey, a 12 year old Glenfiddich or a Glenlivet is not quite as sweet and heavy. 

These varieties convince more with  fresh and crisp aromas  of flowers, pears and apples. 

They belong to the rather light varieties.


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Fruity and Spicy Speyside Whisky

The spicy and fruity Speyside whiskeys have a medium range or a medium “body”. 

They have a soft overall appearance with a recognizable wood aroma. 

The sweetness is also more evident than the aforementioned light and floral strains. In addition to the aromas similar to those of baked and dried fruit, you often also   perceive spices and honey.

With some varieties you will inevitably think of cake as soon as you let the whiskey melt in your mouth. 

Typical varieties for fruity and spicy Speyside whiskeys are Glendullan, Cragganmore or Glen Elgin.


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey- Rich and Round Speyside Whisky

You want an even sweeter taste in whiskey? Then we recommend you to buy a rich and round Speyside Whisky. 

These varieties are very popular from the Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Macallan distilleries. 

You often notice  nuances of nuts and fruits  and often also distinctive sherry notes. 

The varieties that have been stored in different casks, for example in oak and sherry casks, are particularly rich in depth. 

There are also other variants of cask storage, for example in Spanish Pedro Ximenez casks.


The Best Speyside Scotch Whiskey – Full-bodied and Smoky Speyside Whisky

If you don’t like the previous mild and fruity Speyside whiskeys, try the whiskeys from Benromach or the BenRiach distillery. 

They are unusually smoky and peaty  in flavor for a typical Speyside Whisky.


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