Pre-Prohibition Spey-Royal Review

I picked up this mini of Spey-Royal along with a dozen of its kin in a trade. I couldn’t find any information about this mini or it’s cork and accompanying mini cork screw online so I took it to a local expert. Between the cork, the mini cork screw (just a twisted piece of metal), glass, packaging and labeling he thought it was a mini from the early 1900s; pre-prohibition.

Doing some digging on the brand itself it definitely could be.Spey-Royal has been around for over 200 years and go its start when Lord Byron gave a barrel of Spey whisky to King George the 3rd in honor of the King’s marriage. The brand still exists today and is released by the UK based charity Historic Royal Places which takes care of… wait for it… historic royal places. So how does 100-year-old whisky taste? Let’s hop on down to the Spey-Royal review and find out ‘eh?

Pre-Prohibition Spey-Royal Info

Region: Scotland

Distiller: Glen-Spey Distillery
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley single malt + Grain whisky
Cask: Definitely a lot of sherry used
Age: NAS
ABV: Not listed, but probably 40%

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

Pre-Prohibition Spey-Royal Review


Sherry, nuts, oak, dark fruit, dark sweets, marzipan, citrus, molasses and a bit of Dimetapp. Starts out heavy with OBE but opens after a few months.

Sherry, cherry cola, cinnamon, Dimetapp, bitter cocoa, citrus peels, artificial vanilla, molasses and a bit of clove and anise. The OBE didn’t fade on the palate as much as it did on the nose, but it’s not domineering.

Medium drop of funky molasses, clove and dried cherry.

Ok balance, medium body and soft easy feel.

I’m surprised how well the Spey-Royal has maintained itself after being in this little bottle for almost 100 years. Though it didn’t start that way. At first it was nothing but that funky OBE so I poured a couple of them it into a larger sample bottle and checked on them periodically over a couple months and it worked; the whisky opened up nicely.

The color denoted a heavy sherry character which, after it opened, showed up in the aroma and the palate. A nice wave of dark fruits and spice connected it from aroma to finish and it’s fairly tasty by today’s standards. Though I can’t help but wonder how it was pre-prohibition and how it stood out in the market place then. Fun things to ponder while sipping something that pre-dates my grand parents.

SCORE: 85/100 (B)

Pre-Prohibition Spey-Royal Label

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