Skara Brae 16, 2005-2021, Bourbon cask 22, 57% – Cooper’s Choice

Skara Brae automatically involved the islands of Orkney, even if it wasn’t mentioned on the label. It’s the 4000 year old settlement uncovered on the ‘mainland’ of Orkney.

Image from Whiskybase

And with this being an undisclosed Orkney whisky, we can safely state that this is a Highland Park, as are (unofficially) all the others. A friend of mine picked up this bottle when it was discounted recently, and shared some samples of it. With me being a bit of a Highland Park fanatic, I picked one up and tried it.

Even if it is just to find out how it compares to the other recent ones that I’ve been trying (here, here and here). I rated those very highly, so apart from being a fan of the style, the bar is pretty high too.

Slightly on the sweet side with hints of vanilla and pastry. A whiff of smoke and straw. Marram grass and a bit of a briny coastal note. Some apples, pears and white grapes. Roasty oak and porridge too.

The palate is surprisingly strong and spicy. There’s a lot of chili heat with other flavors pushed to the background. Straw and oak shavings after that. Apples, unripe pears, a bit of a grape seed bitterness. Coastal salinity too, very briny.

The finish holds the middle between the palate and the nose. There’s some peppery sharpness but the pastry like sweetness of the nose is present too.

Decent stuff, but compared to the other recent Secret Orkneys, this is rather boring. It shows the things I like so much about the other ones, but very marginally. There’s just a bit too much sweetness and it somehow tastes a bit hot compared to the others.



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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