Chivas Brothers is releasing a collection of 15 whiskies from a handful of its Speyside single-malt distilleries. The group of whiskies, collectively called Secret Speyside, ranges from 18 to 30 years old and hail from four distilleries that are seldom seen as single malts: Glen Keith, Braes of Glenlivet, Longmorn and silent distillery Caperdonich.
Each distillery has three permanent bottlings in the range, apart from Caperdonich, which boasts three peated and unpeated expressions that will be gone forever once sold, as the distillery is no longer active.
Of the whiskies Imbibe tried, the distinct stone fruit characters of the Glen Keiths stood out, as well as the smooth toffee-ed Longmorns.
Braes of Glenkeith 30yo was also a stand-out, with its creamy nose of toffee, soft-serve vanilla ice cream, lemon oils, sea grass and white pepper. The palate was soft and salty, with flavours of vanilla pods, driftwood, hay and a fino sherry-style dryness.
Alan Winchester, master distiller at The Glenlivet, told Imbibe, ‘This is the start of things. This is us looking at what we have in stock. These whiskies are known to us, but we wanted to give the connoisseurs something to look at.
‘These were modern distilleries designed to do a job [make whisky for blends], but as you can see, they’re doing their job very well.’
You’ll either have to buy a plane ticket or be patient to get your hands on a bottle however, as the collection will be exclusively available to Global Travel Retail for a year before being more widely distributed.
The full Secret Speyside collection
48% abv, RRP £250, Caperdonich 21yo
48% abv, RRP £480, Caperdonich 25yo
Cask strength (still ageing; available from October), RRP £990, Caperdonich 30yo,
48% abv, RRP £130, Caperdonich Peated 18yo
48% abv, RRP £290, Caperdonich Peated 21yo
Cask strength (still ageing; available from October), RRP £550, Caperdonich Peated 25yo
48% abv, RRP £100, Longmorn 18yo
48% abv, RRP £290, Longmorn 23yo
52.2% abv, RRP £450, Longmorn 25yo
43% abv, RRP £180, Glen Keith 21yo
43% abv, RRP £380, Glen Keith 25yo
43% abv, RRP £500, Glen Keith 28yo
48% abv, RRP £400, Braes of Glenlivet 25yo
48% abv, RRP £450, Braes of Glenlivet 27yo
50.3% abv, RRP £600, Braes of Glenlivet 30yo