Tag Archives: speyside

Prometheus 26 Review

Producer: Glasgow Distillery Co. Distiller: undisclosed. ABV: 47%. Region: Speyside. Price:  $950.*

The last time I was in Glasgow a few years back, on my way to Glengoyne, I remember regretting there were no distilleries to visit in the great gray city, which once had dozens of them.

They’re on their way back. The Glasgow Distillery Co., run by Liam Hughes & Ian McDougall, has become the city’s first in over 100 years, and A.D. Rattray has a distillery and visitors’ center in the works too.

Right now, GDC is facing the dilemma common to whisk(e)y startups the world over–what to sell before your own product is ready. They’ve already got their own gin on the market, but for whisky lovers, there’s something more fiery: Prometheus 26.

It’s a 26-year-old peated Speyside sourced from an undisclosed distillery, matured in first-fill sherry casks. They’ve released just 3,000 bottles, including 1,000 to North America and 1,100 to Europe.

So how is it? Marvelous. The nose has a gorgeous, symphonic richness to it. I got dry vanilla cake, dense sherry fruits–figs, prunes, dried cherries, and more–and buttery malt in beautiful harmony. I just wanted to nose it all day long.

On the palate, weight, spice, fire, though little peat. Heavy tannins take a bit of time and a drop of water to integrate. When they do, the sour notes meld with the spice and mild sweetness beautifully. Long finish with burnt sugar, oak spice, and dark-roast coffee.

Prometheus was the Greek God who brought fire to mortals. An ambitious name, but one hell of a dram. Hard to find and priced to make a statement, but big rewards for whoever gets a taste. Sláinte, friends! – BO

*A company representative kindly provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% out own.

Benromach 15 Review

Distiller: Benromach. ABV: 43%. Age: 15 years. Region: Speyside. Price: $100.

Benromach’s a great example of the benefits of going small in a time of bigness. Bought and rescued from obsolescence by merchant bottler Gordon & MacPhail in the mid 1990s, the current Benromach distillery is run by just three people. Its stated mission is to restore the “pre-1960s Speyside style” — largely meaning having a very gently peated component to bring the more common honeyed and floral profile alive.

In the recently released (Fall 2015) Benromach 15-year-old, this works like magic. It was matured in a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, some heavily charred. It’s a dram that needs time and attention, but rewards them.

Both sherry and peat are up front on the nose, but not with the intensity of a Lagavulin or sherried Ardbeg. Instead, they gently blend into aromas of baked goods, say a fresh cinnamon bun with raisins. The body and palate are dry, dark, dense, and oily, and need a drop of water (literally a drop) and a bit of time to unfold. When they do, there are dried cherries, figs, and earthy, chocolatey peat. The finish is mild but long, with peppery spice and a very soft sour oak note at the very end.

A dense, delicious dram I’ll happily return to any time. Cheers, friends! – BO

Craigellachie 13 Single Malt Review

Distiller: Craigellachie. Region: Speyside. 46% ABV. Age: 13 years. Price: $55-60.

A favorite dram of 2015 that tastes just as good in the New Year. From the heart of Speyside, Craigellachie is one of the few single malts distilled with a worm tub condenser, giving an extra weight and density to the spirit. Long a staple of blends, it’s only recently available in single malt form, as part of John Dewar & Sons’ Last Great Malts lineup. (Royal Brackla, Aberfeldy, Autmore, and The Deveron round out the lineup.)

Coppery, buttery, and dried apple notes on the nose. Recalls Redbreast in a very nice way. With time, more malt, bourbon-barrel, and hints of cocoa. Burst of spice on the palate. Shortbread biscuits, a little Chardonnay wineyness. Waxy and viscous on the palate, but with a sense of clarity through it all. Lingering spicy finish with a hint of white smoke.

It’s not the kind of dram that knocks you out the way an A’Bunadh or Uigeadail does, but it’s consistently satisfying–and it lingers in your mind hours later the way a great melody does. And each time you revisit it, it offers more nuance.

It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite Speysides. Check out our thoughts on the 19-year-old version, and stay tuned for a writeup on the 23-year-old too. Sláinte, friends! – BO

Buy Craigellachie 13 online at Mash + Grape