Speyside Region 26 Years Old Secret Speyside M.Wigman They Inspired Edition No.3 Mandela 47.7% 1993
|Bottler||Michiel Wigman Dutch Whisky Connection|
|Serie||They Inspired Mandela|
Tasting Notes Courtesy of Angus MacRailds, points by BOW:
Colour: bright coppery amber.
Nose: marmalade on toast! The richness of seville orange with deeper notes of toasted brown bread, toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, then honeycomb and an elegant note of aged sauternes. Abundant sweetness but well balanced, light and integrated with these richer bready tones. A small splash of water reveals some superbly elegant notes of dried herbal bouquets, pressed wild flowers and touches of fennel and aniseed.
Palate: Surprisingly spicy, lots of dark fruit preserves including fig, date and prune. A few brighter red fruit cordials as well. The spiciness of pumpernickel bread, cinnamon powder, curry leaf and clove. Also quite a bit drier and more direct than the nose suggested which keeps the evolution entertaining. Hints of treacle tart, marzipan and baked apples. Water creates a little more harmony and easy warmth in the mouth. There’s still a prickle of spice but it’s well tamed and showing superb elegance and poise.
Finish: Long with rather prickly sharp notes of fruit chutneys, boiled lime sweets, earthy and bready notes. Rich and satisfying.
Comments: A surprisingly full and big bodied Speysider, one which feels weightier and more powerful than its ABV would suggest. The kind of spicy, firmly backboned whisky with plenty chunky fruitiness that would sit very well in a large measure late in the evening with friends.
Serge Valentin (90)
This series is called ‘They Inspired’ while this very baby has Mandela on the label. I’ve heard they’re planning to do a George Dickel Weed Finish with Donald J. as the source of inspiration - Bob Marley was taken. But then again, they’re Dutch bottlers. Colour: deep gold. Nose: starts with a large bag of raisins, dried flowers, chamomile and a lot of praline. That’s extremely pleasant. Goes on within the same clusters, with toasted brioches and scones, and probably a little millionaire shortbread. These touches of earth and tobacco that appear around 3:30 are lovely too and make it rather more complex. Mouth: punchier than expected, more on bouillon and dried meats too at first, with some Stollen, panettone, toffee, raisins, and a little oude geneever (cheers friends), as well as dried bananas, figs, dates, and dried longans. I cherish dried longans. Finish: rather long, rather rich, with more raisins, dates and figs, a little pipe tobacco (Amsterdamer, naturally) and rather a lot of proper milk chocolate. Comments: some say these 1993s usually stem from a Distillery that starts like a hamburger and ends with ‘lan’. I wouldn’t be too surprised if that was the case here. Very good rather old-style malt whisky, extremely well selected, that’ll benefit from ten of twenty years of further cellaring. Yes I know.
he fourth (or third, depending on how you look at it) of Michiel Wigman’s own whisky bottlings. Anyway, it was part of the second batch of two whiskies.
Another of these secret distilleries that are so popular currently, with every bottler doing them someway or another. Not that I’m complaining, although in general the ‘the name is not on it so it’s a lot cheaper’ tendency of a few years ago seems to have passed completely.
Anyway, any secret Speyside veers directly in the direction of Glenfarclas, but I’m not sure about that. At least not 100%, since it’s not certain that it’s not either.
Contrary to the bourbon cask used for the Teaninich and the Croftengea, this is from a sherry cask. I had to look it up since I missed the first on with Winston Churchill on the label, but that’s from a sherry cask too. Is it a thing to have ‘secret’ distilleries from sherry casks nowadays?
Pretty fierce for the ABV and the age. Lots of dried fruit, but on the bitter edge. Not a very sweet sherry’d whisky. Almonds, dates with stones, apricots. Some flint and brimstone, even a hint of unripe banana.
The palate is slightly dry, and not hot at all. A very gentle dram, with quite a lot of soft wood notes, dried fruit and some nuts. Hazelnuts, some milk chocolate, apricots and dates. The bitterness is still present, and only highlights the lack of sweetness.
A very gentle finish, that lingers quite long with slightly spicy sherry, and hints of dried fruit. Peaches, apricots and raisins.
I love that this is a not-sweet sherry whisky. That would have been the easy choice, but instead there’s added depth because of the lack of that direction. It gives room to gentle notes of fruit, nuts and wood.
In a recent interview Michiel Wigman said that they’re not making whiskies like they used to, but his palate is formed by these drams. As you can very well see at his stand if whisky festival ever become a thing again. This one fits in that register. It’s not one of those modern whiskies with too much sweetness and the wood forced onto it. A great selection!