Speyside - 15 years old

Reviewed on Thu 24 Mar, 2016

Now having a famous face front your brand isn't a new concept - famous actors and musicians have been flogging booze in the Asian markets forever. Unfortunately for Speyside, and their "Spey" whisky range, that famous face belongs to Michael Owen.

The Speyside sounds like one of those madey-uppy brands like you see so often in the supermarkets and abroad - Glen Marnoch, Glen Blair and Glen from accounts. It is a very real distllery however, and sits near the hamlet of Drumguish in the Speyside region (funny that) of Scotland, close to the village of Kingussie. They produces the Speyside single malt and Drumguish single malt.

Now having a famous face front your brand isn't a new concept - famous actors and musicians have been flogging booze in the Asian markets forever. Unfortunately for Speyside, and their "Spey" whisky range, that famous face belongs to Michael Owen. If you're a football fan, you'll be aware that he's possibly the most boring, monotonous sack of human flesh in existance. In fact it's his voice on constant repeat they use to keep the whisky asleep inside the barrel for so long*. The ad he stars in for Spey whisky is certainly no better than his punditry (viewable here, if you have the inclination).

This is an older Speyside bottling, thankfully from the time before MO, and comes in a very odd bottle shape from 1998 as far as I can tell (based on the datestamp on the bottle) though it could be older. It also dubiously calls itself "The Best Whisky in the World" - quite a moniker to live up to. Anyway, on to the dram...

On the nose: Nice, moderately deep notes of stewed fruit (plums?) and apricots with vanilla, honeysuckle and fresh hay.

The taste: Apricots again, softer this tme. The vanilla notes are much heavier in the palate than the nose. It's sweet, but not too sweet... a bit chalky but not too much so. It's a nice middle of the road Speysider. Could have done with a higher ABV.

The finish: Moderate to long, dries out on the palate quickly leaving behind woody tannins and more vanilla.

Personally... Bit of a grower this one. I've discovered something slightly new each time I've tried it - my initial thoughts weren't as glowing as the score would suggest.

* citation needed


Nose:  83/100 
Taste:  80/100 
Finish:  80/100 
Personal Rating: 80/100 
Value for Money:  80/100 
Overall Rating:  80.6/100 

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