The only thing you may know about the Speyside distillery is that terrible ad with Michael Owen. Dear love him.
But they have now released two new bottlings that will completely transform the way you look at the brand.
Named Trutina and Fumare, these expressions celebrate the distillery's history and connection with lord Byron.
Their CEO John Harvey McDounough expands, "We have a long history with Lord Byron, as he gifted whisky, which is thought to have been SPEY, to King George III on the occasion of his marriage. Byron loved the Latin language, and so these expressions are a tribute to that passion.”
Nothing expresses this better than the names, both of which are Latin and have been chosen to reflect the liquid inside the bottle.
Fumare means “smoky” in Latin and refers to the peated qualities of the Whisky. This is the first peated expression to come out of the Speyside Distiller, but we are assured that they have plenty of barrels maturing.
Fumare is packed with peat and has been created to be the antithesis of Trutina, as well as the other bottlings from the Speyside Distillery.
The opening is sweet, with rich herbs and spices coming through. There is a distinctly basil note to the sweets, with a slightly grassy tone coming through underneath.
This is offset with a wonderfully salty, briney note that carries the thick peat wafts with it. The peat and the salt are almost inseparable, melting together in a mellow tang with a crisp smoky after flavour.
The nose leads into a fantastic palate. The sweetness comes through as a rich chocolate flavour with a slightly medicinal edge to it, which sounds strange, but somehow works.
There is a nod towards caramel that gives a smooth mouth feel and coats the chocolate wonderfully.
Again, the peat is evident throughout, in big, bold plumes moving through the body of the dram and towards the edges.
It is strong but not overwhelming, tying in nicely with the chocolate and caramel. What goes even better with these is the salt.
This adds a great tang to the flavour and perks up the taste buds for more.
The finish is strong and filled with smoke and a last note of sea salt that wraps everything up perfectly.
This is definitely a quality addition to the Spey family and one can only hope that they have plenty more peated malts to come!