SPIRIT OF SPEYSIDE (2016 Dram winners)

Every year around the month of May the whisky producing area of Speyside in Scotland is invaded by thousands of whisky fans, they all visit distilleries and drink the fine whisky the area produces.  Every year during the festival a blind tasting panel reviews and picks a shortlist of drams for the visitors to vote on in order to pick the winners. This years winners were Glen Grant 10yo, Glenfiddich 12yo, Glen Moray 16yo, Glenfiddich 18yo, Cragganmore 25yo and Glenfiddich 21yo.  On the 15th of June a select panel of bloggers and whisky fans had the opportunity to live taste these winners on Twitter..


I was one of the lucky ones picked to do this live tasting and here are my thoughts..

Glen Grant 10yo.

Lots of fruit on the nose, apples, pear and some subtle vanilla, honey and toffee notes.  On the palate this dram was very fresh tasting and coated the mouth with lovely fruity notes, vanilla, caramel and toffee.. This is a lovely easy to drink dram, that is light and fresh.


Glenfiddich 12yo.


What can I say about this dram, one of the biggest selling bottles in the world, this is loved by so many and overlooked by the rest.  The fiddich 12 is consistent with those fruity notes like green apples, floral scents and fresh cut grass aromas.. Subtle notes like elderflower and damp moss, rich honey and vanilla make this a easy summer night dram.


Glen Moray 16yo.


This dram was a nice step up, lots of sweet scents and aromas, vanilla and toffee notes with caramel and nutty notes balanced well with a subtle oaky presence. Some nice spicy notes on the palate brought memories of apple pie and poached pear with toffee  sauce.. Crushed almonds and dark chocolate.. Very enjoyable.. But be quick, the rumours are this might be discontinued soon.


Glenfiddich 18yo.


The bigger brother to the 12, this is far more sophisticated and bidet with the nose and palate. A darker taste brings flavours like dates, figs, candied orange and toffee. Sugar coated almonds and cinnamon mingle well with dark chocolate and ginger notes. A lovely dram that has its place on any shelf.


Cragganmore 25yo.

This was exceptionally well balanced and complex, lots of dark fruit and sweet flavours to compliment. A little ginger and toffee notes with a sprinkling of fresh fruit and floral notes.. ( this was my favourite on the night )


Glenfiddich 21.


Always a lovely dram, butterscotch, vanilla and toffee played along with spicy notes.  Honey and fresh fruits blended well with dark fruits, almonds and toffee flavours while citrus notes and chocolate,coffee and liquorice notes made an appearance.


This was a great evening and was a pleasure to review some of the more overlooked malts. My thanks go out to the Spirit of Speyside team, Steve from the Whisky Wire and all those that voted for these malts at the festival..



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