Best Speyside Whisky 2023

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Sip, Laugh, Repeat: Speyside's liquid charm fofensive!

In the misty valleys and rolling hills of northeastern Scotland lies the celebrated whisky-producing region, Speyside.

Home to almost half of Scotland's distilleries, it's no wonder that some of the world's most revered drams originate from this hallowed ground.

For those seeking the crème de la crème, here is a guide to the best Speyside whisky options that are not only a delight for the palate but also offer exceptional value for aficionados.

1. Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old

Let’s start with a heavy-hitter. The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 is the epitome of what Speyside has to offer.

Aged in sherry-seasoned oak casks, this whisky exudes rich and complex flavors.

Expect a medley of dried fruits, chocolate, and spices with every sip. The finish is long, warming, and perfectly balanced, making it a favorite among enthusiasts.

2. Aberlour A'Bunadh

Directly translated as 'The Original' in Gaelic, Aberlour A'Bunadh offers a burst of traditional Speyside character.

Bottled at cask strength and without any age statement, each batch varies slightly, but you can always anticipate a robust and full-bodied profile.

The sherried influence is pronounced, giving notes of dark chocolate, dried cherries, and a spicy finish. It's a powerful yet harmonious whisky that stands out.

3. Glenfiddich 21-Year-Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish

Glenfiddich, one of the stalwarts of the Speyside region, has crafted this unique expression by finishing their 21-year-old whisky in Caribbean rum casks.

This results in a sublime fusion of traditional Speyside flavors with tropical notes of banana, figs, and toffee.

It's a delightful twist that makes this one of the top Speyside whiskies for those who crave something different.

4. Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old

Continuing the legacy of its 12-year-old sibling, the Balvenie DoubleWood 17 is matured in two types of oak casks.

Starting in traditional whisky casks and finishing in European oak sherry casks, it imparts layers of honey, dried fruits, almonds, and a dash of oak.

The balance achieved in this dram showcases Speyside craftsmanship at its finest.

5. Glenlivet 18 Year Old

Another classic that undoubtedly deserves its place on this list. The Glenlivet 18 offers an elegant and refined experience.

As it rests in both American and European oak, the whisky intertwines flavors of ripe citrus fruits, nuts, spices, and hints of oak.

With a mellow and lingering finish, it is no surprise that this expression is often recommended as one of the best Speyside whisky options for newcomers and seasoned drinkers alike.

6. BenRiach Curiositas 10 Year Old

For those who appreciate a hint of smokiness in their whisky, the BenRiach Curiositas is a must-try.

While Speyside is not traditionally known for producing peated whiskies, BenRiach breaks the mold with this expression.

It offers a harmonious blend of smoky undertones with sweet, fruity notes, reminiscent of peated pears. It's a delightful detour from the usual Speyside profile.

Top Pick: Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old

While each of the mentioned whiskies has its distinct charm, the Macallan Sherry Oak 18 stands out as the best Speyside whisky.

It embodies the quintessential Speyside characteristics and offers unparalleled depth, complexity, and richness. It's a timeless classic that appeals to both newcomers and seasoned whisky lovers.

The verdict

Navigating the vast sea of top Speyside whiskies can be a daunting task, especially when the region boasts such a rich tapestry of flavors.

However, the above selections encapsulate the essence of Speyside, offering a diverse range of profiles from the traditional to the innovative.

Whether you're planning a visit to Scotland's picturesque distilleries or simply looking to add a stellar bottle to your collection, remember that the journey of discovering the best Speyside whisky is as rewarding as the destination.

So, raise a glass to the unparalleled craftsmanship of Speyside and let its liquid gold transport you to the heart of Scottish excellence.