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The Speyside Files #1: Blair Athol, Aberfeldy

With the heroism only two last stage alcoholics can have, last week we visited the Spirit of Speyside, the festival of the region which hosts a good third of the overall Scottish distilleries. Our visit has been crazy and desperate to be honest: three very intense days with several visits, tastings, meetings and many many km driven on a very embarrassing salmon colored Fiat 500. As the good reviewers we are, our report will go straight to few reviews, the few one we managed to do before our liver (and brain) gave up. 

Blair Athol, is a delightful Diageo owned distillery: it is on the road to the Speyside from Glasgow so we couldn’t really avoid a visit for a couple of drams, fishing from the range of Flora & Fauna – a special mention to the visitor center bar, literally built in a disused mash tun.

Mannochmore 12 yo Flora & Fauna (2017, OB, 43%) Generously malty, with clear notes of biscuits. Clean and light, altogether simple and with a mid-low persistence also if, here and there, herbal/mineral angles are not missing, followed by a light spicy side. Cereal cereal cereal! A whisky that tastes like whisky: 82/100

Glenlossie 10 yo Flora & Fauna (2017, OB, 43%) Closed at the nose and quite “spirit”. Notes of yogurt, jasmine, it becomes very floral at the palate. Vanilla and yellow fruit. Also a very clean and elegant profile, but comparing them this one winds over the Mannochmore. 84/100

Two drams to scare the fear away, so it’s said (where? We don’t know): strong of a new braveness, we jump on the salmon colored car to reach Aberfeldy, pleasant and cozy. Here we took the chance to try few expressions of the other distilleries of the Dewar’s group.

Royal Brackla 16 yo (2017, OB, 40%) Caramel notes, fruity ones afterwards: a hint of green banana, apricot, orange. Decisively sugary tea. Even at 40% it seems very rich and demands respect, showing muscles for this distillate which has the nickname of “the king’s own whisky”. Nicely sweet, with a clean and herbal finish. 86/100

Glen Deveron 18 yo (2017, OB, 40%) For the curious one of you, behind this exotic name there is………… a single malt produced at Macduff. On the nose seems fruity and pleasant, with notes of yellow fruit (apricot and peaches). At the palate it’s bit watery, also if revived by a salty and hearty hint. Weird panna cotta note, it’s all kind of interesting but at the end, bit disappointing: 78/100

Recommended soundtrack: Ariana Grande – No tears left to cry.

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