Secret Highland Distillery 34, 1985-2019, Hogshead, 47% – The Whisky Agency

A few years ago when a whisky was from an undisclosed distillery, that generally meant the bottle was a bit cheaper than its named counterparts. That is far less true now, since people have come to realize that the whisky is just as good, if not better than in more regular releases.

I tried this blind, a little while ago. On top of that I have to admit that I don’t recall where I got the sample from. But, an older bottling like this should be good without knowing its provenance…

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
On the nose it starts off with wax and oak. Some pine resin too, with old apple and cake batter. Apple pie, cinnamon and some other spices. It’s rather classical, and quite mature too.

Sip:
The palate is a bit more intense than I would expect from a 47% dram, but not sharp. White pepper and fresh oak. Some waxiness to follow, with the resin and the apple pie. Baking spices too.

Swallow:
The finish is more wood driven than the palate was, but I also get some red fruits. Quite long with lots of oak and a note of beeswax.

This one is a little bit of a conundrum. As in, it’s a very good whisky with lots of lovely flavors. However, it’s not as complex as you would expect such an old dram to be. The flavors, while nice and mature, old even, are good but I do expect this to be a little bit more interesting.

The ‘oldness’ of a whisky should not just be determined by the flavors that tell its age, but also be accompanied by complexity and depth, and that’s where his one lacks a little bit.

Having said that, it still is very good. Very drinkable. Just nog € 400+ good by quite some margin.

88/100

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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1 Response to Secret Highland Distillery 34, 1985-2019, Hogshead, 47% – The Whisky Agency

  1. Pingback: Bunnahabhain 33, 1987-2021, 53.4% – Michiel Wigman, Prometheus | Malt Fascination

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