Secret Orkney 20yo, 1999-2020, Hogshead, 52.7% – Boogieman Import

Yes, this is Highland Park. They all are.

This bottling was released some two or three months ago by Stefan van der Boog (BOOGieman), from Passie voor Whisky. And as I do when new and sort-of affordably Highland Parks are released, I buy a bottle for sharing and one of the #StayTheFuckHome tastings I’ve been hosting over the last year.

I decided to keep about 30 centiliters for myself and the tasting and that resulted in my having only about 4 cl to myself, since the tasting was quite a full one. We tried it last Friday, and on Saturday I decided to taste the last sip and empty the bottle before it evaporates too much.

I already knew I liked the whisky. I expected to like the whisky before I even tried it since the combination of some decent age, Highland Park and a bourbon cask generally works well (to me). So during the tasting I realized it again and decided to give it a bit more attention the next day. It’s always a bit sketchy to write tasting notes during an actual tasting, since your palate isn’t as clean as you want it to be. Also, with 12 other folks in the session you might get a bit too many suggestions.

Anyway, here’s my thoughts:

Sniff:
Lots of coastal notes with basalt, salinity, sand, marram grass. A whiff of smoke and vanilla. The notes of heather increase with a bit of time. Hessian, old wood, dry wood spices and tree bark.

Sip:
The palate brings dry wood spices and tree bark. Coastal notes with sand and some brine. Charcoal, and heather. A minor note of honey sweetness.

Swallow:
The finish carries on down the same vein, with a bit more heather honey, a bit more earthiness, and a bit less coastal notes. Quite a big whisky.

This is as typical a Highland Park as you can get with all the expected flavors showing up in varying levels of intensity. I liked that the heather is quite pronounced, since that’s not always the case over the last couple of years.

With this coming in at € 140 I doubt you can do much better from this distillery at that price. Especially from the official bottlings you’ll be glad to find a 12 year old at that price. Highly recommended!

89/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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