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Last night Chivas Brothers released its biggest Single Malt collection to date, with the launch of fifteen aged Single Malt Scotch whiskies from four seldom-seen, yet highly sought-after Speyside distilleries.

Secret Speyside
Always love hanging out with Alan Winchester – one of the nicest men in whisky

The Secret Speyside range comprises fifteen Speyside single malt whiskies with ages ranging from 18 to 30 Year Old. 

“Speyside is home, I fell in to distilling but it plays into my love of the outdoors, stories, history and the sense of place”

Alan Winchester

The distilleries within the collection include the “vanished distillery” of Caperdonich, the “pioneering” Longmorn distillery, the “landmark” Glen Keith distillery, and the “remote” Braes of Glenlivet distillery.

“This is a fascinating thing for us, and has been in the pipeline a wee while and I can remember most of these products being distilled… to use a footballing analogy, these are not the strikers, these distilleries are the workhorses and shows the broader range of secrets we have been keeping”

Alan Winchester

I was fortunate to attend the first public tasting of the new Secret Speyside range, here were my tasting notes as I went through one from each distillery

Glen Keith 21 Year Old – Secret Speyside release

Such a fresh, oaky nose with floral notes in abundance. Really nicely intertwined notes that bring about the best of the distillery’s characteristics. There something indulgent here, a wisdom, a creaminess on the palate too with a really smooth, easy-drinking. Lemon sherbet too, like cinema sweets. Lovely stuff. 

Braes of Glenlivet 25 Year Old – Secret Speyside release

So many flavours… but sweet, candy shop-like. Alex Robertson describes it as like walking through an ice cream parlour and I get what he means; tonnes of different fruity and vanilla flavours all competing, but all working. Lemon citrus notes bring together vanilla, juicy oak and dusty leather notes too.

Longmorn 18 Year Old – Secret Speyside release

Fruity, lovely orange, mango and orchard fruit notes. Berry fruit notes too, maybe a muted sherry character coming through in the nose too. The palate is smooth and fruity, spice from American oak. 

“Every distillers’ favourite, aside from their own”

Alex Robertson

Caperdonich 21 Year Old Peated – Secret Speyside release

Smooth, rubbery peat notes on the nose, the palate is really easy drinking. By far the easiest drinking smoky whisky I’ve tried in years, so enjoyable and so well balanced between oak-influence and peat-influence, all with a lovely wrap of soft spices and a subtly herbal note too.

Bonus dram – Longmorn 25 Year Old – Secret Speyside release

The 52.2% ABV on this one is very easy to take – it is not too punchy, but it packs a load of flavour in; that classic orange note which is one of the core notes owing to the distillery character. Lively spicy notes intertwine peacefully with orchard fruits, red berries and a chunky sherry influence too. So special.

Details about the distilleries from the Secret Speyside press release

Caperdonich – A Vanished Distillery

Once gone, there will never be another. This collection contains the only available Single Malts from this distillery, which was taken down brick by brick in 2011. The whiskies released from this ‘vanished distillery’ of Speyside offer a rare opportunity to discover and compare peated and unpeated expressions of the same age (21 and 25 year old), from the same distillery.

The unpeated spirit is full of ripe orchard fruits that give Caperdonich’s sweet single malt a complex body and long smooth finish. When gently peated, an untraditional process for a Speyside Single Malt, a sophisticated smokiness adds an extra element and depth of flavour

There will be six whiskies released from Caperdonich, with half being peated whiskies and the other half unpeated. The peated selection includes an 18 year old (48% ABV), a 21 year old (48% ABV) and a cask strength 25 year old whisky. The unpeated whiskies are a 21 year old 48% ABV) 25 year old (48% ABV), and a cask strength 30 year old. The peated 25 year old and non-peated 30 year old will be released in October 2019.

Pricing

18 year old Peated (48% ABV)
Matured in American Oak barrels
RRP $130

21 year old Peated (48% ABV)
Matured in American Oak barrels
RRP $290

25 year old Peated (cask strength) 
Matured in oak hogsheads 
RRP $550

21 year old Unpeated (48% ABV)
Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels
RRP $250

25 year old Unpeated (48% ABV)
Matured in first fill American Oak barrels
RRP $480

30y/o Unpeated (cask strength)
Matured in first fill American Oak barrels
RRP $990

Longmorn – The Pioneering Distillery

Blending unique insights in technology and craft, Longmorn was designed by founder John Duff in 1894 to create a whisky of outstanding quality. Duff even built a railway station next to the distillery to facilitate supplies getting to the distillery and speed up the finished product getting into the hands of whisky lovers. One of Scotland’s best kept secrets, Longmorn has long been considered world class by distillers, blenders and connoisseurs, often referred to as ‘every distiller’s favourite apart from their own.’

The three whiskies from Longmorn in this collection are an 18 year old (48% ABV), 23 year old (48% ABV) and a cask strength 25 year old, with each bringing a more intense take on the soft, creamy toffee and rich flavour profile that is highly regarded by distillers and industry experts worldwide.

Pricing 
18 year old (48% ABV)
Matured in American Oak barrels and hogsheads
RRP $100

23 year old (48% ABV)
Matured in American Oak barrels and hogsheads
RRP $290

25 year old (cask strength, 52.2% ABV)
Matured in American Oak barrels, hogsheads and butts
RRP $450

Glen Keith – The Landmark Distillery

Glen Keith was the first Speyside distillery built in the 20th century. The distillery rose from the ruins of an old mill on the banks of the River Isla, famed for its pure water and leaping wild salmon. This collection marks the first official* age-statement release this century from the landmark distillery.

The three whiskies from Glen Keith in this collection are a 21 year old, 25 year old and a 28 year old (all 43% ABV). Each is exceptionally smooth as Glen Keith’s pot stills are taller than most, giving an extra ‘copper kiss’ to the single malt and resulting in a complex, intensely smooth example of the classic Speyside style, bursting with juicy summer fruit notes.

Pricing21 year old (43% ABV)
Specially Selected Oak barrels and butts
RRP $180

25 year old (43% ABV)
Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels
RRP $380

28 year old (43% ABV)
Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels
RRP $500

Braes of Glenlivet – The Remote Distillery

This is the first official bottling* from one of the highest distilleries in Speyside. In years past, when the snow fell, it settled on the hills of Braes of Glenlivet first. The remote distillery was watched over by a lone keeper at night and was truly at the mercy of the uncompromising Scottish elements.

The three whiskies from Braes of Glenlivet in this collection are a 25 year old (48% ABV), 27 year old (48% ABV) and a cask strength 30 year old. Made using the purest water from the Preenie Well, 2 miles deep in the Braes hills, the resulting whisky is smooth, balanced and packed with tropical fruits. 

Pricing
25 year old (48% ABV)
Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels
RRP $400

27 year old (48% ABV)
Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels
RRP $450

30 year old (cask strength, 50.3% ABV)
Matured in American Oak barrels and hogsheads
RRP $600

The Secret Speyside Collection will launch from July as a Global Travel Retail exclusive for one year, before rolling out into selected markets globally from summer 2020.

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