A rare collection of Speyside whiskies is now available in the UK, and includes bottles from Caperdonich Distillery.

The Secret Speyside collection, the largest curated single malt collection to date from Pernod Ricard UK, is now available for whisky enthusiasts to purchase, including the later released Caperdonich 25 year old peated and Caperdonich 30 year old unpeated.

What’s in the Speyside collection?

The Speyside collection includes a range of highly sought after, single malt Scotch whiskies, aged from 18 to 30 years old, from four of the region’s most elusive distilleries.

It is made up of three, individually numbered rare Single Malts from each of the Glen Keith, Longmorn and Braes of Glenlivet distilleries, together with three peated and three unpeated expressions from Caperdonich.

Price for bottles range from £88-875, and each with its own rich and unique history for discerning fans to discover.

Having previously been available at Duty Free only, now whisky fans are able to purchase the collection at select stockists within the UK.

Caperdonich – A vanished distillery

Speyside collection

Caperdonich, meaning the ‘secret well’ in Gaelic, no longer exists, and distilled its final single malt in 2002.

Taken down brick by brick in 2011, this collection contains the only available single malts from this now ‘vanished distillery’.

The whiskies offer a rare opportunity to compare peated and unpeated expressions of the same age (21 yo and 25yo), from the same distillery, and once gone, there will never be another.

The Caperdonich 25yo peated (RRP £486) is a smoky and fruity malt.

It is described as having rich notes of peat smoke that are balanced by green apple and sweet pear, with bonfire aromas and a hint of salt leading into a long and smooth finish.

The Caperdonich 30yo unpeated (£875) has been matured in first fill American Oak barrels, and has flavours of soft fruit, fresh pineapple and sweet honey.

It is described as the ultimate malt from the lost distillery: well-balanced with gentle, warming spices and an incredibly long, smooth finish.

These two Caperdonich expressions represent the culmination of the Caperdonich range, which also includes an 18 year old peated whisky (£115) and a 21 year old peated whisky (£256), an unpeated 21 year old (£221) and unpeated 25 year old (£425).

Longmorn – The pioneering distillery

Longmorn Distillery was designed by founder John Duff in 1894 to create a whisky of outstanding quality fusing together his unique insight in technology and craft.

Duff, a forward-thinking founder even built a railway station next to the distillery, to facilitate supplies getting to the distillery and speed up the finished product getting into the hands of whisky lovers. This ’pioneering distillery’ is one of Scotland’s best kept secrets.

A malt of exceptional smoothness and depth of flavour, Longmorn Distillery has produced three creamy toffee flavour whiskies for the collection, including an 18 year old (£88), 23 year old (£256) and 25 year old (£398).

Glen Keith – The landmark distillery

Speyside collection

Glen Keith was the first Speyside distillery to be built in the 20th century. This distillery is a landmark, not only because of its location but also because it is seen as a modern-day training site for expert distillers such as Alan Winchester, a well known figure with over 30 years experience.

At Glen Keith, these experts learned to make their mark on whisky, producing malts that were described as Speyside, through and through.

Glen Keith has contributed three whiskies for the Speyside collection, which are the first age statements released this century from the distillery.

The smooth and complex Single Malt has a classic Speyside style, with juicy summer fruit notes through the ‘copper kiss’ given by Glen Keith’s pot stills, which are taller than most.

Each of the three whiskies are quintessentially Speyside and include a 21 year old (£160), 25 year old (£336) and a 28 year old expression (£442), all at 43% abv.

Braes of Glenlivet – The Remote Distillery

The Braes of Glenlivet is the most ‘remote distillery’ in Speyside, and in years gone by, was watched over by a lone keeper at night.

The whisky is a smooth, balanced malt – the first official bottling from one of the highest distilleries in Speyside.

This remote distillery has released three malt whiskies, packed with tropical fruit notes, and made with the purest water from the Preenie well, two miles deep in the Braes hill.

The three age statements are a 25 year old (£354), 27 year old (£398) and a 30 year old (£530).

The Secret Speyside collection is now available for whisky fans to purchase from UK retailers with principle stockists including Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange.

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Secret Speyside collection tasting notes

Caperdonich

18 year old Peated (48% ABV) – Matured in American Oak barrels

Smoky bonfire comes together with the classic sweet and fruity Speyside style.

This rare and robust Single Malt is subtly layered with initial aromas of peat, followed by a taste of apple and brown sugar, gentle ginger and warming orange.

RRP £115

21 year old Peated (48% ABV) – Matured in American Oak barrels

This is a layered and complex malt: gentle peat and bonfire embers come together with warm cedar and mandarin orange. Long and smoky, the finish leaves a subtle taste of liquorice and herbal tea leaves.

RRP £256

25 year old Peated (cask strength, 45.5% ABV) – Matured in oak hogsheads

This smoky and fruity malt engulfs the senses: rich notes of peat smoke are brilliantly balanced by green apple and sweet pear, with bonfire aromas and a hint of salt leading into a long and smooth finish.

RRP £486

21 year old Unpeated (48% ABV) – Matured in first fill American Oak barrels

This fruity and sweet malt brings together zesty orange, poached pear and rich vanilla, with floral herbs for a long and smooth finish.

RRP £221

25 year old Unpeated (48% ABV) – Matured in first fill American Oak barrels

This warming, rich malt combines complex flavours of juicy blackcurrant, sweet pear and creamy milk chocolate. A touch of cinnamon spice leads to a long and succulent finish.

RRP £425

30 year old Unpeated (cask strength, 51.1% ABV) – Matured in first fill American Oak barrels

Flavours of soft fruit and fresh pineapple meet sweet honey. This is the ultimate malt from the lost distillery: well-balanced with gentle, warming spices and an incredibly long, smooth finish.

RRP £875

Longmorn

18 year old (48% ABV) – Matured in American Oak barrels and hogsheads

Incredibly smooth with notes of mango and creamy toffee, complemented by flavours of ripe juicy pear and a touch of oak. The finish is incredibly sweet and long.

RRP £88

23 year old (48% ABV) – Matured in American Oak barrels and hogsheads

Incredibly sweet with creamy milk chocolate and fruity pear flavours mixed with lemon curd and a touch of ginger. The finish is voluptuous with a warming spice.

RRP £256

25 year old (cask strength, 52.2% ABV) – Matured in American Oak barrels, hogsheads and butts

Incredibly sweet with a touch of cinnamon followed by notes of red apple, mandarin orange and rich sultanas. Dry in character, the finish is long and smooth.

RRP £398

Glen Keith

21 year old (43% ABV) – Specially Selected Oak barrels and butts

A perfect balance of fruit and sweetness. Soft peach and tropical pineapple, with a toasted almond finish.

RRP £160

25 year old (43% ABV)

Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels

A perfect balance of sweetness and mellow spice. Orange and ginger marmalade with tangy gooseberry jam and vanilla custard.

RRP £336

28 year old (43% ABV) – Matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels

A perfect balance of sweet fruit and soft spice. Sweet orange, apricot and vanilla fudge with a touch of homemade gingerbread.

RRP £442

Braes of Glenlivet

25 year old (48% ABV) – Matured in first fill American Oak barrels

Sweet notes on the nose with aromas of orange marmalade and ripe melon. Fruity flavours on the palate with apricot intermingled with sweet coconut and complemented by a long, spicy dry finish.

RRP £354

27 year old (48% ABV) – Matured in first fill American Oak barrels

Intense fruity notes on the nose with aromas of red apple and cinnamon. Sweet and creamy on the palate with hints of ripe banana and butterscotch leading to a long and velvety finish.

RRP £398

30 year old (cask strength, 50.3% ABV) – Matured in American Oak barrels and hogsheads

Tropical notes on the nose with aromas of mango and root ginger. Fruity flavours intensifying on the palate with juicy orange, blackberry jam and marzipan coming through, resulting in a long-lasting, sweet finish.

RRP £530

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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