WhiskyNerds Secret Highland 31 Years Old 27 49.6% 1987
Serge Valentin (88)
This one is a single. Macallan, obviously – just joking. Colour: amber. Nose: just lovely, on raisins, figs, dates, some fresh fruitcake, pollen and honey, mint cordial, some young pu-erh (earthy tea), an awesome earthiness (anything around mushrooms, really), and a lovely mustiness. Refill sherry hogshead? Tends to get a little dusty, but that’s just nothing. Mouth: some smoke, some mint, some pine-y liqueurs, some cracked pepper, something mineral, all things oranges, mosses, liquorice… It really is some firm whisky, not easy to pin down because each and every time you’re having an idea (could this be Pulteney? HP?) you’re finding other flavours that would rather discard those options. Perhaps a special brew from Loch Lomond’s? Plus, the sherry’s still rather active here. It’s a sherry hogshead, right? Finish: rather long, perhaps a touch too oaky now, but altitude remains high. Comments: frankly, it’s highly frustrating not to know about the distillery, in no small measure because you just cannot generate images in your mind. Imagine, it’s as if Led Zeppelin had only done records and just never revealed who was their singer. Yeah of course I know that wasn’t Clapton.
When I reviewed the Secret Highland 1983 a while ago, I told you there was also a Secret Highland 1987 bottled by the WhiskyNerds. Both sherry casks, but this one has a darker colour with more red hues.
Nose: darker, certainly more sherried than the 1983 but a similar un-modern style. Plums and raisins, lots of leathery notes, moss and slightly damp, leafy notes. Cigar boxes. Mixed nuts. A subtle mineral side too. Mouth: a fairly dry, spicy profile, fairly wood-driven. Leathery sherry, hints of rancio and old oak. Tobacco. Herbal tea. Walnuts and Seville oranges. A little all-spice. Lacking just a little juicy fruitiness perhaps. Finish: quite long, on oak, tobacco and herbal tea.
A dry sherry profile, far away from the modern, first-fill / seasoned versions. Great selection again, even though the 1983 is more special.