Speyside 21yo, 53.1% – The Whisky Exchange, Black Friday

As with any industry nowadays, the Whisky industry has fully joined the Black Friday shenanigans that got blown over from the United States. While I’m not a particularly big fan of adopting other country’s festivities for commerce’s sake, I’m all for a good deal. After all, I’m very Dutch.

Over the past couple of years, The Whisky Exchange has proven to be a great source of very well selected bottlings, and these Black Friday deals are no different. Luckily, they stay true to Black Friday by selling these at significantly lower prices than these bottles normally go for. This ‘anonymous’ Speyside whisky, which comes from a distillery “founded in 1810, this mystery whisky-maker sits between Forres and Elgin in Speyside“, is quite an affordable whisky for the age it has. Also, that mystery whisky makes takes about 24 seconds of Google to reveal it’s identity.

I got sent a sample with a strict embargo, so the post shows at this ungodly hour. Luckily, WordPress facilitates post scheduling! Let’s dive in, shall we?

Oh, don’t be surprised to find this to be sold out. Previous editions lasted about 15 minutes on the website, so missing out is the expected result!

Very dry and oak driven on the first nose. Wood spices and pear drops, right after. Green apples and moss, with hints of barley. It’s not sweet and it comes across as a very old fashioned whisky.

The palate is a bit more sharp than I expected. The wood gives it a slight burn which, combined with the whisky’s dryness, gives quite the tingle. The dryness is that of oak and barley, with dry apple skins and some sawdust. There’s a hint of vanilla, with other crisp fruits like melon, and some grapes. It’s a bit pithy, mostly lemon and tangerine, I’d say.

The finish shows more sweet fruits than before, with a turn towards dried papaya and dried pineapple. The oak and barley are still rather present and it still is a rather dry whisky. Gentle on the throat, but the tingling sensation lingers rather long.

Well, as with the Christmas Malt from The Whisky Exchange, this is not what I expected at all! A very interesting whisky that shows careful selection from their side, but also careful maturation without any rush to get the oak influence ramped up by the distillery’s side. Very well done, I’d say.

I’ve always loved these dry whiskies, and this one is no exception. The gentle fruitiness leaves enough room for other flavors, and the dry backbone makes you want to drink another glass of it. Luckily, it interesting enough to just do that, and pour yourself another one!

EDIT: I originally scored this 88 points. However, as with things that you think about afterwards (a good sign in itself), you come to the conclusion you did it wrong. I updated the rating to 90 points because of the sheer and crisp fruitiness and classical wood and barley backdrop. It’s a stellar whisky, this.


Speyside 21 years old, Glenburgie, 53.1%. It may be available at The Whisky Exchange for £ 79.95


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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