After last week’s review of the Whiskynerd’s new Ledaig, we’ve now arrived at their Secret Speyside that was released at the same time. Lately, we’ve seen many of these and I’m always unsure what to think of them as a consumer.
With these highly coveted releases (all WhiskyNerds whiskies fall in this category) it usually isn’t possible to try before you buy. Therefore, I often purchase whisky based on the knowledge I accumulated over the years. Knowledge of particular distilleries, vintages, cask types and the likes. That becomes rather difficult when the distillery isn’t disclosed. So I don’t buy them.
Yet, there’s a whole contingent not troubled by this. And in the case of the WhiskyNerds that’s probably fair, because they’ve yet to bottle a dud. This 26-year-old Secret Speyside flew of the shelves—all 300+ bottles.
Secret Speyside 1994 26 Years (48.1%, WhiskyNerds, C#30)
Nose: Sweet, fresh and fruity, this Speyside single malt is rather honeyed with touches of beeswax, burlap, ozone and an assortment of stone fruits, such as nectarines and peach. A touch of sugared breakfast cereals, but the sweetness is balanced by some vibrant lemon zest. Taste: Extremely fruity and quite waxy, it’s remarkable how much this initially reminds me of some of those undisclosed 1973 Speysiders. Honey but also more citrus (grapefruit) and stone fruits. More spicy. However, it quickly becomes apparent this is not of the same high quality. There’s a leafy bitterness here and it doesn’t match the depth and richness of those modern classics. Finish: Tannic, spicy and short to medium in length.
The discrepancy between the nose/initial taste and what follows is rather large. It starts out at an incredible high level but can’t quite stay there. If I sound a bit disappointed, that’s because at first I figured I was tasting another classic in the making, but that didn’t quite turn out to be true. (For me at least.)
But when I take a step back I simply must conclude this is yet another quality pick by Bram and Floris, which sold out a while ago because it was also reasonably priced.