Belgian micro-bottler Liquid Art is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a 35 year-old Secret Highland 1983. It’s a single malt bottled from a sherry butt and part of the yield is available in Holland with a WhiskyNerds label. At the same time the Nerds are bottling a 1987, also a secret.
Secret Highlands distillery 35 yo 1983
(48,2%, Liquid Art & WhiskyNerds 2019, sherry butt #82, 246 btl.)
Nose: old-style ‘fireplace’ whisky. A chalky note, waxed papers, rusty tools. Also worn leather, dried herbs and chamomile. Hay. There are vague fruity notes in the background, but that’s not what this is about. Bittersweet oranges, mandarins and old wood. Not that far from these undisclosed 1970s Speyside malts, but this is less rounded.
Mouth: same dusty profile, with plenty of leather, paraffin and old oak. A little tobacco. Then generous spices (pepper, ginger), dried flowers and herbs. Hints of tea leaves. Also peaches, somewhere underneath.
Finish: very long, with the spicy oak and beautiful yellow fruits lingering on.
These are always great finds: whisky from a bygone era with a profile that bears its age with dignity. A lovely release. Around € 300, so not exactly cheap. Available from their partner shops.