A Journey into Speyside
Speyside is the most densely populated whisky region in the world, arguably the most abundant in history too, so there is plenty to cover with this region.
With over 60 distilleries, Speyside is the Manhattan of whisky. Four of the five most popular single malts come from here and this is due to the history, the process and the character of their spirit. Carrying sweet notes of apple, vanilla, oak, nutmeg and dried fruit, the malts from this region are seen as both an entry level for the intrepid whisky novice but also a perfect attraction to the experienced whisky connoisseur.
Speyside produces 60% of all Scotch single malt whisky with three distilleries (Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and The Macallan) alone producing one third of it. This shows how important Speyside is to the overall Scotch industry and how imbedded whisky has become in the region. Some of the first distilleries appeared in Speyside and have bloomed all along the salmon-rich, crystal clear waters of the River Spey.
We have a few Speyside single malts currently available but perhaps two worth mentioning are First Wind and Bazaar Enchantment. The former of which comes from Mannochmore Distillery just outside Elgin. Built in the 1960s/70s, Mannochmore's original purpose was to produce single malt whisky for the world renown Haig blends which were among the world leaders in their time.
Mannochmore now produces a single malt that elegantly encapsulates the Speyside's fruity character and this single malt in particular holds tones of vanilla sponge cake, grassy meadows, peach and apricot.
"Where a second wind is fatigued and a last resort, this dram is an explosion of energy, all at once lively and airy: it is your First Wind."
Kirsty Mackinnon our Brand Manager
Bazaar Enchantment is from the Miltonduff Distillery, also near Elgin, and is known for its sweet, floral and mildly spicy single malts. The Distillery is located on the grounds of the Pluscarden Abbey due to the quality of the water source. In the hay-day of illicit whisky production it is said that 50 different distillers operated around the Abbey, but in 1824 Miltonduff was founded on the site of one of them. This single malt exudes nectarine and peach from the off, developing into ginger and cumin before finishing on a deep citrus and spice.
"Inspired by Moroccan bazaars, the cumin, ginger and spice reminded me of walking through a market place, bustling with flavours left, right and centre."
Pluscarden Abbey was once famous for its ale, the excellence of which was attributed to the Black Burn water source that is still in use today and was said to have been blessed by a saintly abbot in the 15th century.
We would encourage anyone interested in the Speyside region, and whisky more generally, to try these single malts and explore the subtle differences that are evident on the nose, palate and in the finish.