When I first heard about Syndicate 58/6, I was a little skeptical at the name.
Where are the Glens? What’s this Syndicate? I can pronounce it too easily… what’s with the numbers?
Let’s talk about the name, the Syndicate 58/6 refers a group of six original members of the group (hence the six) and how the origin dates back to 1958 (hence the 58), when a blend of whiskies was discovered in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is said that after the discovery, six of the founding members of the Syndicate went on to bottle it and replicate it for future years.
Names are fun but what about the whisky? Syndicate explains that the blend consists of 18 single malts and 4 single grains, mixed with some of the original 1958 batch, and is aged in a Solera system. Solera is an aging process where older and older whiskies are blended in and aged, with the average age increasing with each blend. The younger spirit is transferred to a new barrel, with the older spirit on the bottom. A lot of dessert wines, like Sherry, Madeira, and Port; are aged this way. (you may recognize the name as it appears in Glenfiddich’s Solera Reserve)
After all the blending is completed, they finish it in Oloroso Sherry casks for up to two years. The 58/6 has a 12-year old age statement and 40% abv.
I’m a little hesitant to fully buy into the idea that there’s much of the 1958 batch included in each blend, unless there was a tremendous amount or the production runs of 58/6 is tiny (neither of which seem too plausible) and Oliver at Dramming did a little research on the company and its constituents. I personally am not that skeptical or cynical but I saw his writeup and felt it warranted a mention.
That said, it’s about the whisky.
- Nose: Light fruit on the nose and alcohol, give it some time in the glass and it opens up. There’s malt, vanilla, sugar, bit of grass
- Palate: Some grassiness and wine, probably from the Oloroso finish, along with molasses and cinnamon.
- Finish: Somewhat short finish with the vanilla and cinnamon coming through
All in all, it’s a fun blend that isn’t overpowering in any particular area. It’s lightness, likely owing to its single grain blend, is comforting and lets you really investigate some of the subtler flavors. It’s a delicious dram.
The budget minded consumer in me thinks that at $160 a bottle, it’s a stretch strictly based on dollars. The whisky is good but I think the exclusivity premium is a wee bit high. If you’re into collecting and want something that isn’t always available, this would make sense on your shelf. If you’re looking for a daily drink, this is a fine one at a not so fine price.
Great site. I had no idea this costs so much! Wow, for me that would have been a pass and your review confirms my beliefs.
Just found this blend at my local store in December 2019, so a bit late to the party…
What I have is bottled at 43%, but even at that, my first impression on nosing it wasn’t too promising as I didn’t find any fruit notes in the aroma at all; mostly it’s tea, pencil shavings and a bit of faint vinegar sour. However, that slight vinegar note is one that (in my experience) has often been the precursor to some good, flavorful whiskys.
On the palate this was much better – some dark fruit, a very gentle hint of peat smoke, a pleasant maltiness, and a savory quality that makes me think there could be some older whisky in the blend. A little time in the glass and then letting the whisky roll around in my mouth brought out more flavor. The finish was short-to-medium, but really no flaws to report.
This is a nice blend. At the $55.00 US I paid, it’s competing with some pretty good single malts, but is still good whisky worth trying. Definitely beats Chivas 12 or JW Black.