Glen Spey 1977
28 year old Speyside 51.2 % vol
1 of 154 bottles from cask 3655
Glen Spey Distillery was built at Mill of Rothes in 1884, and sold to Gilbey's, the gin people, two years later. It plays a key role in the popular J&B blends, and as a result is not commonly seen as a single malt today. This is the best example of the make we have ever encountered. It comes from a refill hogshead, which has preserved the original character of the spirit, without dominating it with wood-notes. The colour is yellow, 'faery' gold; the first nose of fragrant oil, the kind you use for polishing the stocks of shot-guns. Behind this, tinned peaches and Fruit Gums, and beyond this, after a while, white candlewax. It drinks very well at natural strength: smooth and sweet, with a trace of camphor. Water transforms the above aromas into apple dumpling (with a suet crust), even spotted dick and possibly apple-flavoured Chewits. The texture is pleasantly viscous and unusually mouth-drying; soft and sweet, and having an unusual 'spice-drawer' flavour, leaving a memory of apple dumpling.