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Friday, August 21, 2020

Glen Spey 12 year old 1999 Blackadder Raw Cask, cask 125

Another Glen! Hooray! Today's Glen Spey is from Blackadder's Raw Cask label, a range I like more in theory than in reality. At least there tends to be truth in the name, with the whiskies being much closer to their spirit than the woody vessel. My Glen Spey experience is limited, so I have no idea what to expect.

Distillery: Glen Spey
Owner: Diageo
Independent Bottler: Blackadder
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Age: 12 years (6 April 1999 to August 2011)
Maturation: "Oak cask"
Cask number125
Outturn: 298
Alcohol by Volume: 59.8%
(sample from Florin (a prince))

The nose is not as hot as expected, though there is a definite chlorine note. Beyond that there's a curious mix of ocean water and candy shop (gummi worms, sour apple candy and lollipops). There's also earthiness and wood smoke, like Benromach-lite, which is not normally what one finds with Glen Spey. All sorts of things are going on in the palate: plastic, mushrooms, woody smoke, cream puffs and tart limes. The finish matches the palate.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
A very different whisky now. There are pineapples, lemons, flowers and vanilla in the nose, followed by baby powder, newspaper and cashews. It gets very metallic after 30 minutes. The palate is simple, malty and floral, reading hotter than 46%abv. It becomes bitterer and sweeter with time. It finishes sweet, peppery with hints of green herbs and smoke.

This one leaves me wondering if the bottle's barrel char bits affected the whisky because this is quite smoky, and it's a very woody smoke. It's not bad, but curious. The Glen Spey's nose works better with water, while the palate reads better when neat. Boring it is not, though I found drinking it to be a chore. It almost seems like it needed a *gasp* more active cask.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 79

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