Secret Lowlands 7 Yo 2011
eSpirits, the company behind the Liquid Treasures series, released a few whiskies to mark the 10th anniversary of the company. We’ll try three releases from sherry casks.
We’ll start with an undisclosed Lowland Region Malt 2011. No clue as to the origins, Auchentoshan springs to mind or even Bladnoch. Anyway are we going to end up in a situation where all independent bottlers are undisclosed names, or what?
Nose: nicely candied, fruity sherry. Red berries, strawberry candy, then moving towards floral notes and rose petals. Hints of cherry liqueur. Essentially a light spirit in a good cask, with light oak spice in the background. Mouth: quite a punchy but balanced, active sherry cask. Red apples and berries, still some of these floral notes, black pepper and clove. Modern whisky. Finish:
It’s not the most complex whisky ever, but the clean Lowlands spirit combines really well with the active sherry cask. Fruity candy and balanced oak, hard to resist at this price. Around € 60 from eSpirits direct.
The next one is not an undisclosed Speyside region whisky, but a 1996 single malt from the Speyside distillery.
It is a fairly unknown producer, founded in 1962 but built by hand by its owner so it took until 1990 for the whisky production to be started. The distillery has some of the smallest stills in Scotland. Owned by Harveys of Edinburgh since 2012, the brands include Drumguish, the evil Cu Dhub and the Spey range, many of which specifically target the Asian markets.
Nose: a rather grainy profile, a tad spirity as well but in this case the sherry aromas mask a good deal of it. Toffee, roasted nuts, a little ginger and plums. Roasted chestnut and blonde tobacco. A dusty / earthy side as well. Mouth: still this rough edge, almost like a sherried blend or a brandy. Juniper berries, cloves, plums and fruitcake. Also a slightly plankish oaky side. Still some tobacco. Finish: not very long, fairly dry and spicy.
Not a very noteworthy single malt, which leaves a grainy impression. Perhaps a single malt for brandy lovers? Around € 130 from eSpirits direct.
The last one is from Craigellachie, also from a sherry cask but judging by its colour the influence was rather subtle.
Nose: pineapple and oranges to the fore, apples, preserved fruits and almonds in the background. A peppery kick, as well as some charred oak. Tinned plums. Bready notes. Water brings out more citrusy fruits. Mouth: a funny mix of herbal notes, chestnuts, some mustard sharpness and a vegetal / rubbery note (just a flash). Wet chalk, then back to apples and cake. Finish: medium length, on pepper, barley and citrus.
Ups and downs again. Nice fruits but also woody notes and a few disturbing touches. Not very expensive but I’d still go for the Lowlands whisky. Around € 70 from eSpirits direct.