Secret Orkney 17, 2004-2022, Butt 13, 49.4% – WhiskyNerds

It’s been a full month since my last post on here, but more on that later. Holidays happened in the meantime, and when I got back home there was a lovely little sample of this Highland Park whisky waiting for me.

These Secret Orkney bottlings, of which there have been quite a lot of over the last couple of years, are always Highland Park. The only other option is Scapa, but the consensus in the entire industry is that none of them are from ‘the other Orkney distillery’. Apart from the fact that Scapa is not selling casks, there seems to be not much of a reason for it, but still.

With one of these Orkney bottlings coming from WhiskyNerds, I am very interested in tasting it, since their quality threshold tends to be rather high. Let’s dive in!

Image from Whiskybase

There is a lot happening on the first nosing. There’s a bit of an austere note with some minerals, flint and straw. But there’s also something slightly sweeter. Something more fruity, more like ripe pears and honey. The typical whiff of heathery smoke is there too.

The palate starts with the more sweet notes of honey, some ‘northern’ orchard fruits like apples and pears. There’s some oak and smoke too, with those slightly austere coastal notes of rocks, and a whiff off brine. The ABV is rather toned down and that’s noticeable, it leaves far more room for other flavors than peppery heat to come through, although there is a minor note of white pepper. There’s a rather surprising note of marmalade and orange chocolates too.

The finish continues seemlessly, but does transform after a few seconds to show a little bit more intensity, before mellowing down to show all the honeyed goodness that was promised on the palate. That orange-y note is here too.

This is exactly why I love these secret Orkneys that have been popping up over the last couple of years. Absolutely gorgeous whisky.

There is a lot of complexity, with lots of flavours to be discovered. Sweeter notes, with some austerity. Coastal notes with some orchard fruits. All is good here. The sherry cask is present, but not massively so, which I think is a good thing. It really leaves room for the amazing spirit to sing!


Interestingly, the bottling is still available. Check Whiskybase for outlets!


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.
This entry was posted in Highland Park, Undisclosed and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Secret Orkney 17, 2004-2022, Butt 13, 49.4% – WhiskyNerds

  1. Pingback: Secret Orkney 16, 2006-2022, Bourbon Hogshead, 48.2% – Wu Dram Clan | Malt Fascination

  2. Pingback: Secret Orkney 2007-2022, 50.8% – Michiel Wigman ‘They Inspired III’ | Malt Fascination

  3. Pingback: Skara Brae 16, 2005-2021, Bourbon cask 22, 57% – Cooper’s Choice | Malt Fascination

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s