The previous WhiskyNerds bottling was a cracking Caol Ila with a significant price tag. While the whisky was awesome, people had trouble shelling out like that, and I’ve seen the bottles discounted over the last year.
The strange thing of a € 500 bottle of booze is that it skews your perspective. When this one came out, ‘only’ costing € 300, my first thought was ‘that is pretty reasonable’. Without having tried the whisky…
So, I tried it last week to see where we stand on that ‘reasonable’ bit.
Also, Bram (one of the WhiskyNerds) told me they too don’t have a clue which distillery this comes from. While that might be the case, he might also say that to prevent me from asking over and over again.
Lots of complexity to be disassembled, and quite a lot of sherry from the get-go. Chocolate and instant coffee. Some stone fruit, with grilled peach, unsweetened apricot jam (so, stewed apricots…). A hint of menthol too.
The palate is a bit sharper than I expected, but that’s welcome to combat the sweetness a little bit. Behind the syrupy fruitiness there’s oak and barley and a lot of dryness. Some chili heat, some dates, some raisins.
The finish loses a bit of the dryness that I liked so much on the palate. A bit more milk chocolate-y than before, and a bit sweeter. Compared to the ‘actual’ dried fruits on the palate, the finish goes more towards the red fruit wine-gums.
I find this to be a bit of a troublesome whisky to rate. I recognize the quality of the whisky, and the age and proper maturation, but it isn’t exactly my style of sherry cask. I find it a bit on the sweet side. There is some dryness, but I’m missing the spices to give it a little bit more depth.
Still, all nagging aside, this still is a cracker of a whisky and I think most people like this better than I do. And I still rate it quite highly.
Secret Highland 1987-2019, 31 years old, Hogshead 27, 49.6%. Bottled by WhiskyNerds and available at most of the usual suspects in The Netherlands.