The original Speyside Distillery was built in 1895. Within just ten years however, production had ceased and the site was completely demolised by 1911. The distillery that carries the name today dates from the 1960s and was founded by one George Christie who saw potential in an old mill building on the banks of the River Tromie at Kingussie. The mill itself dated from the 1700s but by 1965 the business was closed, allowing Christie to acquire the building and begin converting to a distillery. This was to prove a long and laborious process however, with many excessive delays. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 3rd of December 1990 that spirit ran from the stills for the first time.
Since then, the distillery has become the home of Spey whisky, a single malt brand traditionally created from whisky sourced elsewhere in Speyside. Now that the company are able to produce their own liquid however, an apetite for experimentation has become apparent and the distillers have begun to produce some new and varied expressions.
One such experiment has been bottled as Beinn Dubh (gaelic for Black Mountain). ‘The Black’ is matured in Ruby Port casks from the Duoro Valley in Portugal creating an incredibly dark whisky. One faint criticism though, it would be nice to see a label confirmation of natural colour, especially where a product is named and marketed for it’s appearance, but that’s only a minor quibble.
Smell: Chocolate, Cocoa, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, Plummy Red Wine. Slight Earthy note.
Taste: Coffee and Dark Chocolate, reminds me of a good Porter. Raisin, Berry and Plum and a touch of Spicy Oak.
Value for Money: Slightly pricy at £50 I feel, but not too excessive.
Score: 41.5 / 50. About the scoring…
Very unusual. Like nothing I’ve ever tried before in fact. Could be exceptional if un chill-filtered and bottled at 46%, as it stands, it comes across as a bit of an oddity, albeit a pleasant and intriguing one.