Distillery: Shhh… it’s a secret distillery on Orkney!
Age: 17 years
Limitation: 266 bottles
Casks: refill hogshead
not chill filtered; uncoloured
Boy, how time flies, it’s already in the middle of February and I haven’t posted a whisky review yet! I’ve been feeling under the weather and feeling the blues quite a bit lately – not ideal prerequisites for an unbiased review, so I didn’t write one. Right, let’s get back on track with this 17-year-old mystery Orkney distillery bottling (I could tell you but then I’d have to… you know… ), which was a cask share between a bunch of online friends in a super-secret Facebook group. *Cue mysterious music*
Right, so, how is the whisky?
Colour: golden honey
On the nose we’ve got a touch of alcohol – no wonder given the rather high ABV! Beneath the pleasant alcoholic freshness, there’s a pleasant whiff of smoke (burning heather and roses), followed immediately by honey, pickled ginger, caramelised orange rind, lemon peel, tinned tangerines, golden syrup and oak wood shavings. The original character of the spirit has been well-preserved by the cask, not overwhelming the delicate, light notes, which is a profile I really like. Let’s move on to the palate!
Very well-behaved upon the first contact, despite the high ABV! Medium texture, yet mouth-coating with a flavour profile in tune with what we’ve had on the nose! Tinned tangerines, pickled ginger, orange peel, add an orange seed for a touch of bitterness, actually, add quite a bit of dryness, too! The honey and syrup move way back into the background, but they are still there. The second sip is much stronger, now the alcohol does kick in, but not in a bad way. I’m not adding any water to this one. Oh, where did the smoke go? Errr, hmmmm, well, it’s there, lurking in the background, if you go looking… The medium-long finish is punchy upon swallowing, quite dry, with citrus, orange peel, herbal notes, wood shavings and just a touch of bitterness and smoke towards the end.
The spirit is strong with this dram! After 17 years in the cask, this one retains a lot of freshness and youth, but the roughness has been polished off by the wood, just how it should be. A profile I quite like and thus I’m happy with my name ending up on the label.
(Nose: 87 Palate: 86 Finish: 86)
No enquiries about purchasing a bottle, please, there are none for sale!