Review: Speyside 2003 10 Yr (Exclusive Malts)


Speyside RegionThis whisky was bottled by Exclusive Malts (Find information on Exclusive Malts here) and named after the region where it was distilled. In this case Speyside. It is not uncommon for distilleries to ask that their name not be associated with single cask releases from independent bottlers. Most distilleries work hard to maintain a flavor that is distinctive to their brand. Independent releases of single barrel, cask strength whisky may taste quite different than proprietary releases. The Speyside region is known for producing light and sweet malts. It is also known for producing whisky which was aged in casks that once held sherry wine. The region is home to the vast majority of Scotch whisky distilleries – eighty four in all. It is home to some of the world’s best selling malts: The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and The Macallan.

Though it can’t be confirmed, it is rumored that this whisky was distilled at Glenfarclas. Glenfarclas is known for producing some of the best sherried scotch whisky. This Exclusive Malts whisky was distilled in 2003 and bottled ten years later at 56.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes

Exclusive Malts SpeysideNose: red cherries, raisins, honey, plums

Mouth: wonderfully sweet, strawberries, cherries, black currant, prunes, oak spice, light brown sugar

Finish: hint of spice, short finish, lingering sweetnesss

Score: 88/100

Verdict: Every once in a while a young whisky comes along and kicks butt. This is one of those whiskies. The nose is sweet red cherries, raisins and plums. It’s a classic sherry bomb complete with strawberries, cherries, black currant, prunes and light brown sugar. There’s also some nice oak spice that puts a punctuation on the palate. Just about the only complaint I have about this whisky is the relatively short finish. This could be due to it’s age. Nevertheless the lovely nose and bold saccharine flavors on tongue make this a very enjoyable sherried whisky. This Speyside 10 year old is just straight delicious. It doesn’t bother me that this whisky is only 10 years old. This whisky goes to show that one should judge a whisky by it’s character, not it’s age.

Special thanks to Impex Beverages for generously providing a sample. 

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