The Secret Speyside Collection, Chivas Brothers' largest ever series of single malt whiskies, is now available in Malaysia.
The collection, which is only available in global travel retail, consists of 15 single malt whiskies between 18 to 30 years old, from four Speyside distilleries, namely Glen Keith, Longmorn, Caperdonich and The Braes of Glenlivet.
Pernod Ricard Malaysia recently organised an intimate tasting session, where we tasted five of the whiskies in the collection.
Glen Keith was the first Speyside distillery to be built in the 20th century, rising from the ruins of an old mill in 1958 on the banks of the River Isla, famed for its pure water and leaping wild salmon. It has some of the tallest stills on Speyside, which gives an extra ‘copper kiss’ to the single malt to produce a classic Speyside style whisky, full of juicy summery fruit notes.
There are three Glen Keith expressions in the collection – 21, 25 and 28 year old.
The 21YO is a fruity spicy tipple, full of tropical fruit notes on the palate, and a lovely sweet fruity finish, while the 25YO comes in initially with strong vanilla notes, followed by woody spice, a creamy mouth-coating palate and a spicy finish.
Longmorn is a distillery that is highly revered in the whisky industry, and often referred to as ‘every distiller’s favourite apart from their own.’
It was designed by founder John Duff in 1894, who even built a railway station next to the distillery to make it easier to get supplies to speed up the production process.
The three whiskies from Longmorn in this collection are an 18, 23, and a cask strength 25-year-old.
The 18YO started off fruity and spicy, with creamy toffee and chocolate-y notes on the palate giving way to a fruity finish with a hint of bitter dryness. The 23YO was a sweet surprise, with candy notes on the nose, chocolate orange flavours on the palate and a lovely long, sweet finish.
Caperdonich is a legendary ‘lost distillery’ – completely torn down in 2011, its last distilled spirit was in 2002, but enough stocks remained for Chivas Brothers to release six expressions for the Secret Speyside collection.
Of these, three are peated – 18, 21 and a cask strength 25-year-old; while three are unpeated – a 21, 25, and a cask strength 30 year old.
The peated 18YO we tasted was a stunning whisky. On the nose, the peat is the first thing you notice, but it then segues into a complex bouquet of spices, fruits, and toffee, with tropical fruits coating the palate, before giving way to a long, smoky, lingering finish.
The Secret Speyside collection is available in Malaysia as a Global Travel Retail exclusive, and can be found at Eraman duty-free stores in KLIA and KLIA2.
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