Whisky of Speyside

Every month The Exmoor White Horse Inn, famous for its ever growing 200 special whiskies and expert knowledge, will be bringing you the low down on the best whiskies from the world’s most renowned whisky region. Starting on the Scottish coast to the highlands, central Scotland, the lowlands and wales, then around the globe from Europe as far Japan’s oldest distilleries.

This month we explore the heart of Scottish whisky production in Speyside, home to more than 50% of Scotland’s distilleries. Speyside runs through the very heart of Scotland. Spreyside’s whisky varieties are renowned for having a sweet, full flavour with notes honey and sherry being common characteristics.

The 10-year aged Aberlour offers a malty nose with a smooth full body and a hint of spice and berry. Whereas the Ardmore 1987 is characterised by a dry caramel toffee flavour with notes of sweet marzipan. The Aultmore promises hints of currents smoothed out with a hint of sherry.

If you’re after something with a bit of fire the hot a spicy notes of the Balmenach 91 will get your taste buds burning for more. This it’s warming hints of ginger and smoke, this is the ideal whisky to keep warm this winter.

For a treat the Balvenie 10 year aged Founder Reserve promises to be a real show shopper. Pale in colour, this 10 year aged whisky boasts sweet honey flavours with a hint of sherry delivering the perfect combination. The 12 year aged Balvenie is finished for 6-12 months in sweet sherry casks which give a beautiful balance of heather, honey cinnamon and orange notes, whereas the 15 year aged variety offers hints of heather, vanilla and honey. All these Balvenie varieties balance well and promise to be real palate pleasers, which make them ideal to follow any sweet or taught desert.

For a more fruity number from the better-known Scottish varieties, the 10-year ages Glen Keith offers a tart fruity flavour with a nose of flowers and lemongrass. The not to be missed Glen Sprey 16 year aged variety with Cadenhead Cask Strength is light gold in colour and delivers a smoky oak and walnut flavour with a nose dry finish. The Gen Dray 12 year is a full gold in colour with a lively sweet plate. Whereas the Glenronach 15 year aged variety boasts a rich sweet raisin sherry with a smooth dry matiness to balance.

Perhaps the best-balanced Glenfarclas gives generous notes of sherry oak with malty notes, which have been beautifully blended. Whereas the strong robust with rich nectar and dry honey notes of the Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength is a punchy little number.

Last but not least and defiantly not to be missed is the Glenfiddich 12 year aged whisky with its fruit pear nose and smooth malty notes. The Glenfiddich 12 year Caoran Reserve treats the palate with a gentle peat and smoke, which has been achieved using casks that previously held Islay whisky. Finally the Glenfiddich 15 year ages Solera Reserve boosts chocolate and pear flavours with a hint of ginger to give a perfect combination, sure to delight the palate.

So there you have it, arguably some of the world’s top whiskies to kick start the winter season. Stay tuned for next month’s article exploring the Scottish Highlands. Home to two-thirds of Britain’s peat bog land and Europe’s largest expanses of blanket bog not to mention Scotland’s largest barley growing locations, the Scottish Highlands is home to arguably some the world’s most magnificent coastal landscapes that produce whisky varieties as diverse and its rugged as the landscape. These winter warmers are all available to sample at The Exmoor White Horse Inn situated in the very heart of the Exmoor National Park. Go on and treat yourself this October.

Written by Peter