Sunday 24 November 2019

Probably Speyside's Finest Distillery XOP 1986 [Road to #1000, Review #977]

Hi everyone,

Here we have something of a mystery… ‘Probably Speyside’s Finest Distillery’ is a bottling that the Laings have been doing for a while, having various different versions and barrels that they have bottled.
I like the addition of ‘Probably.’ It makes the whole thing sound quite playful.
Anyway, if we look at distilleries that this could be from we have Glenfarclas or Macallan, both of which won’t want their brand names used. From these, I think its probably Glenfarclas but who knows…
If you buy barrels, you might realise that Glenfarclas barrels seem to float around quite a bit but most of them are Bourbon or Hogsheads. But you aren’t allowed to use the name so people use names like Blairfindy or just classify it by the region but make it sound fancy. Cadenhead’s are the only ones who are allowed to use the Glenfarclas name but are only allowed to release two barrels a year.
I tried this a first time, the again the next day so have a set of both notes:

Probably Speyside's Finest Distillery XOP 1986 46.4%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Woody and grassy, a little closed, malty, maybe a tad flat, cocoa powder.
Retry: Much better, fresher, more sherry and raisin, more grassy too, dried grass.
Taste: Soft arrival, woody, flat oak then chocolate and malt, some nice orange then grippy tannins.
Retry: Soft and sweet arrival, raisin, orange and sherry, then drier with oak and dried grass then more sweetness again, orange and red apple.
Finish: Long length. Great finish, lots of orange and red apple.
Retry: Long length. Fairly plain here now, oak, some ginger.
From a Butt, released in 2017 at 30yo. Tried the first day and thought I hadn't given it a fair chance. Probably Glenfarclas and not exactly the best cask of the stuff. The second day was an improvement but there's still a lot of fairly plain oak and dryness that is dragging it down.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #820
Whisky Network Review #977

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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