Speyside & Highland Gems

Speyside & Highland Gems

In continuing the series of new offerings for Spirits & Spice, we are ecstatic to illuminate the next two offerings of superb single malts for your enjoyment. Diving right in is a Speyside gem, Macduff 20 Year (Glen Deveron for the distillery’s official bottlings). Macduff was formed in 1958 by a number of well-seasoned distillers and business owners. Since 1960 90% of its production was focused on single malts for blends in Dewar’s and William Lawson. The rare offering of a single malt under Glen Deveron is special indeed, but to the exacting standards and discerning tastes of Spirits & Spice and its customers, the bar is raised even higher. With no caramel color or chill filtration, and bottled at 43%, one can enjoy this fruity, malty, and surprisingly complex dram with a viscous mouthfeel uncommon in many Speyside whiskies.

Apologies for those who do not know what “chill filtration” is. It is a process of ensuring that solid residue is removed and a haze does not appear in a glass once ice is introduced. It’s that simple. The process involves bringing alcohol to a low temperature and letting fatty acids congeal, then capturing those in a filter thereby ‘polishing’ the whisky. However, once that process is complete, one loses some of the deeper aromas and especially more oily or waxy notes to a mouthfeel that could enhance the whisky. In other words, in most commercial whiskies, your product has been chill filtered mainly for the purpose that the drink does not form a haze if ice is introduced. The tradeoff is flavor and mouthfeel. We say, let the damn glass go hazy and stop messing with our whisky! We think you’ll agree.

Next is the incomparable Glengoyne 20 year, a personal favorite of many in Spirits & Spice. Glengoyne as a distillery has their roots in the 1820’s where they used water from a hidden waterfall and tucked their whisky away in order to hide from British exciseman. In 1833 they became a legitimate distillery and not much has changed for them. Their whiskies are crisp, bright, and are untouched by peat. The cooperage standards for Glengoyne are maddening, they rarely replace equipment, but when they do, the parts must arrive exactly as they were in form before they were replaced. In the case of stills, that means new ones must even have dents banged where ones existed in the distillery prior. Nestled directly between highlands and lowlands by a road, it is difficult to determine the region of Glengoyne. The whisky is distilled (technically) in the highlands and left to mature in dunnage warehouses across the street in the lowlands. It makes no difference to them. Glengoyne’s, old, exacting, finicky, standards result in a dram well worth the money. In the case of the Glengoyne 20 year for Spirits & Spice, this balanced dram is singing with milk chocolate and orange peel. It’s brown sugar notes are delectable sprinkled with malt and citrus. Its finish is as long as a summer day and tantalises you to the next sip. Enjoy this rare dram with friends and marvel at the moment where time stands still due to the passion and attention to the few who operate and produce for Glengoyne and are brought to you unadulterated only through Spirits & Spice.

 


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