Whisky Review #47 – Speyburn 10

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Intro – I have been drinking whisky for over 3 years now and I remember seeing Speyburn 10 at my local liquor store early on in my whisky journey. A 10 year old single malt scotch whisky for $20-$30 is always attractive…especially to a beginner. I did my research and reviews were lackluster. Many people talked about the value of the whisky and that it wasn’t horrible. It’s no wonder why it took me so long to buy a bottle. Light, young Highland whiskies usually don’t do it for me. I finally picked up a bottle on an impulse buy one night when the wife and kids were out of town. Paid $30 – 43% ABV – added color and chill filtered.

***Reviewed neat while listening to Stone Temple Pilots – Core.***

Nose – herbal, spicy grass clippings, vanilla, apples, caramel…artificial caramel, plastic, fruity(currently attracting a fruit fly), floral, laundry soap, bathroom cleaner…not quite bleach but pretty close.

Taste – spices, alcohol, more spices…pepper, a bit too hot, caramel, alcohol soaked apples, pretty harsh and unpleasant. *adding water helps with the alcohol but the flavor becomes nonexistent*

Finish – Short finish, slightly sweet, dry, rotten wood. Thankfully the finish doesn’t hang around.

Favorite Part – The Nose. (the only redeemable quality)

Conclusion – I enjoyed the nose on this a lot but the taste and finish were horrible. Even at $30 I can’t recommend this whisky. The notes on the nose make me interested on what Speyburn could do with quality casks, higher ABV and more of a craft presentation. Maybe it was the Stone Temple Pilots but this seems like a good whisky to throw ice in and get hammered off of. I drink whisky for the smell & taste experience…not to get hammered. Save your money and put it towards a better mid range bottle.

Rating – 47/100

  • Presentation – 1/5
  • Nose – 20/25
  • Taste – 10/35
  • Finish – 10/25
  • Value – 6/10
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Whisky Review #34 – Cragganmore 12

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Intro – From the Classic Malts series from Diageo here is the offering from the Speyside region. Cragganmore 12 – bottled at a gentle (watered down) 40% – chill filtered and colored. Thanks for nothing, Diageo. This was another of my “hometown” buys. Meaning my local store had it at a comparable price to the stores where I usually buy. Sometimes I want to try something new so without much research I pulled the trigger on this bottle. I have gotten burned doing this before…see my Dalmore 12 review. To Diageo’s credit, I have enjoyed all their other “Classic Malts” I have tried. I think I paid $45.

****Reviewed neat on 07/05/16 while listening to Frank Sinatra: The Columbia Years.****

Nose – honey, slightly vegetal, fruity, salty, briny, floral, sweet glue, slight alcohol nip but not off putting – lots of honey and flowers.

Taste – soft mouth feel, honey, very nice honey…thick and intense, great in the beginning but quickly turns spicy, quick fruits and then nothing.

Finish – short finish, spicy honey, wood, an odd, bitter,  rotten alcohol taste? – the box says “hint of smoke sweetness”…I don’t get that but how could I with that rapid finish. This one does not linger.

Favorite Part – The Taste.

Conclusion – Very one dimensional on the nose (honey/floral) – It doesn’t make me want to continue the nosing. The taste starts out great (loads of honey) and then loses steam. Finish…what finish? I wouldn’t have a problem suggesting Cragganmore 12 to beginners. I think it’s interesting and priced decently. That said I  won’t be buying another bottle. They do have a distiller’s edition that it Port finished which sounds interesting.  Cragganmore 12 does make me want to try more Speyside whiskies so I suppose that’s saying something.

Rating – 66/100

  • Presentation – 2/5
  • Nose – 16/25
  • Taste – 29/35
  • Finish – 13/25
  • Value – 6/10