As some may have seen on Instagram, I finally had the opportunity to sample a number of whiskies yesterday. I just really had to make time for it, but partly due to a number of busy months and the warm weather I lag behind hopelessly. The coming weeks I will do my best to catch up.

Anyway, one of the samples I tasted yesterday is this Speyside 1988 from Le Gus’t. The bottle states that it is a blended malt, but in reality, it’s a teaspooned whisky, which means that a teaspoon of a single malt is added to the cask of another single malt. Officially it must, of course, be called a blend, but in fact, this naturally does not diminish much in the taste of the other single malt. It is even negligible.

But why is this applied then? The reason for this is that the distillery does not want their name to be used, usually to protect their own brand. So it’s not the choice of the independent bottler, but that of the distillery. By adding a teaspoon of another single malt to it, it is no longer a single malt and therefore a different name must be specified. A few other examples are Burnside which is The Balvenie and Wardhead which is Glenfiddich.

The same applies to this Speyside 1988, which is therefore not mentioned by its real name. In reality, this turns out to be a 30-year-old Macallan with a teaspoon of Highland Park. The cask used for this is a Sherry butt, after which it was bottled at a strength of 53.70%. Impressive huh.

Speyside 1988 tasting notes:

Nose: Wow! Quite big on the sherry influences at first, such as raisins and plums and there is some leather in the background. This is followed by red apples and a little bit of cinnamon. Oranges. Some sweetness from honey and caramel fudge. Dark chocolate and walnut. This is very lovely.

Taste: Again quite some sherry influences, like raisins and prunes. There are hints of leather and a cigar box. Followed by oranges and honey. Sandalwood. But also oak and dark chocolate. Walnut again. And then it becomes spicy with a touch of ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Finish: The finish is long with oak and a hint of honey. And spices. Cacao too. But it has a somewhat bitter edge.

A very fine Speysider with an old school Macallan touch. Fantastic nose and taste, but it loses a point on the finish though. It seems that the bitter edge has a little more effect here than in the taste. Nonetheless, a good cask pick from the guys from Le Gus’t. Well done!