Review No.187. Macleod’s Speyside Single Malt

Ian Macleod are an independent distiller, blender and bottler.  They own Glengoyne and Tamdhu distilleries.  These next 3 reviews will cover their Regional Single Malts range which is described as ‘A Sensory Voyage Through the Whisky Regions of Scotland’.   This is marketed as an introductory range to Single Malt names Speyside, Highland and Islay.  Each are described as being the most representative of their particular region.  Regional profiles are not a clear these days given that distilleries are producing a range of flavour profiles ie. peat and unpeated versions so I try not to rely too much on regional profiles to guide me but they can help to start with.  So what is a typical Speyside single malt?  According to Ian Macleod it is “sherried goodness up front on the nose, which develops into subtle smoke, golden barley and sultanas on the palate, leading to a drying, floral finish”. I can’t say for certain if this one is from Tamdhu or elsewhere and given the sheer amount of distilleries across Speyside I think it would be really tough to guess.


Whisky: Ian Macleod’s Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40%

Nose: Vegetal, earth, light smoke, porridge, wine, marzipan

Taste: Some malt, light caramel, rose water, cloves, smoke, dry oak

Finish: Cinnamon, dry oak

Score: 2.25

Summary: This is quite interesting and not what I was expecting.  I was expecting a bland generic fruit and honey speysider.  Instead, the first thing I picked up was a lot of earthy and vegetal notes along with hints of smoke.  A bit funky.  Then some of the sweeter notes came to fore but these were quite light.  The delivery of the sweetness was thin.  Further on the development a bit of spice comes out but is overtaken by dryness.  The spirit is quite young and hot.  There are some interesting notes to this but due to the thin delivery and young spirit it lacks any impact.  If you want an introduction to speyside then I would suggest you try an official bottling from Aberlour .


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


Image source: