The Flora & Fauna series is a long running series by Diageo, with a lot of their distilleries represented, all which don’t get to see the light of day as single malts all that often. It’s mostly based around their not-Classic Malts, with a big representation of whiskies that normally end up in blended whiskies.
Glen Spey is no exception to that with, according to Whiskybase, there only being a little over 300 known bottlings ever. For a distillery that has been around for almost 150 years, that’s a very small amount.
The current batch of Flora & Fauna releases, which came out last year, consists of eleven different distilleries: Mannochmore, Glenlossie, Inchgower, Teaninich, Linkwood, Glen Spey, Auchroisk, Blair Athol, Strathmill, Dailuaine and Benrinnes. Apart from some special releases, none of these have a regular version available. Mortlach used to be part of the series too, but with the rebranding to the ridiculously overpriced half liter bottles some years ago, they stopped adding that one to the series.
Of course, only trying one of the range doesn’t give an impression of Flora & Fauna, but we can always assess a whisky based on its merits. Let’s see what’s what.
Lots of barley with vanilla and lemon. Some oatmeal porridge, grist and wet malt.
The palate shows a light touch of black and white pepper. Lots of barley and oatmeal again. Grain husks and grist both. It’s quite dry with some vanilla and a light nuttiness.
The finish is a bit more sweet with a touch of honey. Still mostly barley focused, baked apple and old lemon, and porridge. It’s gone quite quickly.
This whisky is okay. It’s far from spectacular, and mostly interesting because you don’t get to try many Glen Spey otherwise. I get why this is used in blended whiskies, with it’s quintessential malt whisky flavors of barley and some vanilla. Otherwise, it is quite boring.
Quite readily available between € 46 in Germany and up to € 65 in The Netherlands.
Honestly, at both ends of the price range, I think you can do better.