So I was at The Whisky Lounge festival in Newcastle last weekend, it was a great weekend and I had great fun. The only downside to this great weekend was that I had to drive on the Saturday, so I couldn’t take advantage of the range of whiskies available to sample.
So during the breaks I got chance to talk to some of the other representatives from the distilleries at the festival. I had the privilege of talking to Paul Dempsey from Spey single malt, now I’d not had chance to try anything from the Spey Distillery so when Paul offered me a couple of samples to review later I jumped at the chance.
The Speyside distillery is a youngster when you look at the other distilleries around it, only coming on line in 1990 with the first single malt released in 1993. In 2012 the distillery was sold to Harvey’s of Edinburgh, who revamped the range of whiskies available. With the latest core range comprising of the Tenné, 12 & 18 year old malts.
The first sample I tried was the fairly new but limted release called Spey Fūmāre, it’s the first peated malt released by Speyside distillery. The name is from the Latin for smokey and is bottled at 46% abv both non chill filtered and non coloured. The release is of 18,000 individual numbered bottles so is not a small release but is only available in the UK and a limited number of international markets.
Nose: Soft woody smoke, earthy peat, vanilla, hint of nectarine, pears/peaches in syrup, with more time to breath it gets sweeter with some pear drops boiled sweets..
Palate: Gentle campfire smoke, soft peat, the comes the mix of sweet and savoury, almost a salted toffee note, some nice white pepper, rich fruity apple and pear mixed with a nice sweet spice, touch of almond oil..
Finish: Medium in length with a warming spice touch
Now I’ve grown to love my peated malts over the past few years, with the softer ones being my favourites just because they don’t overpower the rest of the dram. This release from Speyside has just what I’m looking for in a peated malt. The smoke is rich and creamy but doesn’t overpower everything, the sweetness and fruit gets to shine as much as the smoke. Some peated malts are so big that I love them but can only drink the one glass, anymore and I can’t taste anything but the peat. This Fūmāre is soft in the smoke/peat area that I could drink it all night, I feel that they have hit a nice balance between all the aspects of the dram.
I’m now looking forward to trying some more from the distillery and have already added a bottle of this to my shelf, might even have to get another just to make sure I don’t run out anytime soon.
A huge thank you to Paul Dempsey and the Speyside distillery for the sample it’s been a pleasure to try this.