Founded in 1897 by John Hopkins, the Speyburn Distillery located in the heart of Speyside, Scotland has been making award winning whisky for over 120 years.
When Hopkins began searching for a distillery site in Speyside, he wasn’t alone; the area was already famous for whisky production. Two factors set the young distiller apart from the others: his innovative spirit and an untapped, crystal-clear water source.
Hidden in a secluded glen Hopkins stumbled across the Granty Burn, an untouched stream with pristine, soft water that would make for refreshing, remarkable whisky. Using stones from the bed of the fast-moving river, the distillery was built right in the glen where it remains as the only distillery to use water from the Granty Burn. Building in this unique location was not without its challenges. The narrow valley was hard to access and required an unusual vertical layout. Distillery designer and innovator Charles C. Doig invented a completely new style of distillery just for Speyburn. The unique design allows for even airflow over the drying grains and has a Pagoda style roof that can be seen cresting the tops of the trees in the surrounding forest.
Despite just founding the distillery, Hopkins and his team started with a tight deadline for their first batch. 1897 was the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign and Hopkins wanted the first bottling to bear the year of the Diamon Jubilee. As the story goes, the distilling team worked through an arctic storm on the very last day of the year to ensure the first barrel of Speyburn Whisky would be stamped with 1897.
In the years since, Speyburn has kept its reputation as a world-class maker of single malt scotch. Today the distillery makes a number of unique bottlings including a 10, 15, and 18-year expression along with two unique cask finishes, a range of travel exclusives and two younger bottlings called Bradan Orach and Arranta Casks—the latter of which is exclusive to the U.S.
The 10-year aged expression is an ideal introduction the distilleries line. The single malt is matured in a combination of ex-sherry and American Oak ex-bourbon casks. The nose opens clean with a hint of lemon while the medium bodied spirit has tasting notes of toffee, vanilla, butterscotch, and citrus with a long, sweet finish. One of the best ways to enjoy the nuance of this spirit is in a highball, which brings out the refreshing flavors.
Speyburn and Soda
- 2 oz. Speyburn Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 10 Years
- 4 oz. Club Soda
Preparation: Pour scotch then soda into a highball glass over ice. Garnish with an orange slice.