The Secret Speyside collection includes bottles from a dismantled, 113-year-old distillery that will never produce another single-malt ever again. How's that for rare?
This week, Pernod Ricard released the Secret Speyside collection—its largest range of single malt whiskies ever—and a handful of the bottles have landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport's duty free store. All of them are aged between 18-25 years, meaning the release is targeted more at enthusiasts than folks looking to “test” a nice whiskey or wow their business colleagues with a pricy bill at Duke. Keep that in mind.
What makes the release interesting is the rarity of the bottles (get your wallet ready). All of them come from lesser-known or discontinued distilleries in far-flung corners of the Speyside region in northeastern Scotland—one of the world’s most famous whiskey-producing realms and the home of The Glenlivet brand.
Two of the rarest bottles come from Caperdonich, which produced its last single malt in 2002 before the distillery was dismantled after 113 years in operation. There are peated and non-peated versions of Caperdonich 21-Year-Old as part of the collection. Both were matured in American oak barrels and have a zesty, citrus smell and long, smooth finish thanks to the lengthy aging process. These are the last remaining bottles from Caperdonich, so it’s debatable whether you should even open them. For what it’s worth, people who have dared to crack the seal on Caperdonich bottles tend to give them favorable reviews.
The next two uber-rare bottles come from Glen Keith, the first Speyside distillery to be built in the 20th century and known for producing more delicate whiskies compared to its regional counterparts. There is a 21- and 25-year-old offering here, both leaning on the fruity side of the spectrum, with the older version adding a bit of spice to the mix.
Finally, Longmorn rounds out the final two rare bottles to landing in Thailand. Longmorn actually holds a special place in Asia’s whiskey history. It’s where Masataka Taketsura, the founder of Japan’s massively popular Nikka Distillery, learned the craft. Longmorn’s 18- and 23-year-old bottles are arguably the smoothest of the Secret Speyside collection with creamy toffee flavors dominating the palate.