A Secret Islay Distillery 8yo, 2013-2021, PX Hogshead, 53.3% – Wu Dram Clan

The new year has only just begun (although a sixth has already passed) and Wu Dram Clan is on a roll again. Two grain whiskies and two single malts, the latter two from Islay. I decided to get a bottle of the ‘Secret Islay’, which is really undisclosed without some hints to the provenance of the booze.

Of course, as with practically everything I’ve bought over the last couple of years, this was a bottle-share which filled up rapidly. That’s nice, because I liked to try the whisky too, without buying a full bottle. It was also a bit surprising, since it’s still an eight year old whisky for more than a hundred bucks.

Personally, I like to keep trying young Islay whiskies every once in a while, although I’m not a huge fan. Generally, not unlike this one, it’s all a bit too young. This one is a bit surprising since it’s already down to 53.3%, which is rather low for the age. The PX sherry cask has something to do with this, I guess.

Sniff:
Lots of salty smoke with hints of barbecue. Some sweet citrus, orange, vanilla, a whiff of iodine too. Charcoal and oak.

Sip:
A bit of heat on the arrival, but not too much. Some oak, charcoal, pithy orange, barbecue like smoke. After a while it’s a little bit sweeter, hints of pastry and fruit. Some chili pepper too.

Swallow:
A warm finish, very similar too the palate. Slightly sweeter, but not overly long. Orange, smoke, a hint of tarry ropes.

I’m a bit on the fence with this one. On one hand it’s nicely not-too-sharp, and the cask influence brings a bit more different flavors than I usually find with such young drams. On the other hand, the typical Islay flavors are a bit subdued by the sherry cask. There’s some smoke, but the other flavors aren’t overly coastal.

Initialy I was planning to give this dram something like 88 points, but after having the rest of my sample, it’s gone down a bit. While you can’t taste the price of a bottle of whisky, I’m having a bit of trouble with the combination of the price tag and the offered flavors.

Of course, that’s not because of the bottler or the shops, it’s just that whisky, and Islay whisky is massively popular, so getting a cask is insanely expensive.

86/100

Available for € 120 at Passie voor Whisky

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 A Secret Islay Distillery 8yo, 2013-2021, PX Hogshead, 53.3% – Wu Dram Clan

  1. Pingback: Secret Islay 10, 2011-2021, Port Barrique, 53.3% – Michiel Wigman ‘East meets West’ | Malt Fascination

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