Secret Highland 14yo, 2006-2020, Refill Sherry Hogshead 65, 53.2% – Whisky-Doris

I have a bit of a soft spot for pretty labels. Especially these Art Nouveau, absinthe style labels are things that always peak my interest. Luckily, I’ve tried enough whisky to not just go blindly by said label, but when I’m on the fence between two bottles, it can be the deciding factor.

Of course, sometimes I find things pretty that others don’t particularly like, such as the new Ben Nevis 10 label. To me that looks ridiculously stylish, even though it resembles a wine label more than anything else.

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, when this one came out about a month ago, with it being a Clynelish according to the newsletter, and its label, and the acceptable price tag, I didn’t have to think for very long. Of course, the bottle-share being completely filled up in a reasonable amount of time also helped.

Sniff:
It’s rather austere, with hints of slate and apples. A whiff of apple skins and the waxiness of it. Some oak and vanilla.

Sip:
The palate brings a bit of sawdust, and fresh black pepper. Slightly mulchy, with hints of wax, apples and something slightly more austere.

Swallow:
Still dry on the finish, with a bit less crisp notes. Old bread, beeswax and some vanille.

This is one of those weird whiskies that are not overly interesting on one hand, but since they still are rather typical for a Clynelish tend to out-perform others based on that alone. It’s one of those things that Springbank, Lagavulin and Clynelish tend to do.

So, I guess that’s my assessment of this whisky too. It’s a pretty good whisky, better than most, and it does Clynelish things, which is very good. On the other hand, it’s utterly predictable, has zero surprises and that makes it a bit forgettable.

Well, zero surprises is a bit understated, there’s one surprise. I couldn’t detect the sherry cask influence, and would have sworn this was a bourbon if I didn’t know any better.

87/100

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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