Whisky from an undisclosed producer is mostly annoying. (Unless it’s very good, of course.) A lot of the single malt brands today have the independent bottlers to thank for their reputation. Or at least in part. So, why now be so secretive and disallow the companies that have previously helped you to be transparant? I understand my disapproval of this practice might start to annoy you, but I can’t just review another Secret Speyside and not mention my qualms.
But… there is something somewhat entertaining in trying to figure out the source of a secret whisky. In the past it used to be easy, as pretty much every undisclosed Speysider was distilled by Glenfarclas. That no longer is the case, although they will always remain a prime suspect. Glenrothes has been known to be secretive. But Serge Valentin hints that the Secret Speyside 1993 26 Years from Michiel Wigman might just be from Macallan, one of the biggest and best-known distilleries from the region.
To be honest, blindly picking out Speyside distilleries is not my forte, unless it is Benromach. Most whiskies that I feel have a very distinct flavour profile come from other regions, like Bowmore, Springbank or Clynelish. So, I can’t confirm Serge’s suspicions, also because Macallan is just not a whisky I’m intimately familiar with. But if it is Macallan, this certainly was a steal when it was released last year.
Finally and before we move on to the tasting notes, I’d like to highlight the They Inspired label for this Secret Speyside from Michiel Wigman. I love the concept and find it even cooler that he has put his own wife on one of the labels. She’s in great company, as evidenced by the fact that Nelson Mandela adorns this Secret Speyside’s bottle.
Secret Speyside 1993 26 Years (47.7%, Michiel Wigman, 204 bts.)
Nose: Sweet orange zest and tangerines with a touch of ozone, but also plenty of raisins and a good amount of honeycomb as well. There’s some malty touches as well, but these stay mostly in the background. Taste: It has a spicy and somewhat drying arrival, but also plenty of dried fruits (prunes, dates) to accompany the notes of cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Soft notes of mint, juniper and fennel too. Finish: Buttered toast and gentle spices, ending on raisins. Medium.
Lovely nose followed by a less accessible palate, yet it is rather adventurous and complex nonetheless. I quite enjoyed it. Sold out everywhere, I'm afraid.