The latest releases from The Nectar of the Daily Drams included two undisclosed Speyside single malts, one from 1991, the other from 1994 and both from bourbon casks, or so it seems.
In a virtual tasting for Spirits in the Sky, Mario told us he has no idea which distillery this was coming from. In any case, as always we have to say they are not Glenfarclas.
Secret Speyside 26 yo 1994 (49,8%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams 2020, bourbon barrel)
Nose: starts in a nicely dusty way, with some oak (shavings), mixed with old books and a little leather. It becomes very waxy, on paraffin and candle wax, I love that. Later it moves towards dried yellow flowers, nectarines and honey, as well as some grated coconut. Rather perfect.
Mouth: same waxiness, now with a bigger burst of stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, yellow plums). Very juicy. Some candied ginger and generous waxy notes again. Acacia honey. A pinch of pepper. Hints of vanilla marshmallows afterwards. Some leafy touches as well.
Finish: long, waxy and fruity, with echoes of ginger.
A nicely accessible, fruity old Speyside profile. Recommended. I believe some Benelux retailers may still have a bottle of this. The rest of the world can get it from The Whisky Exchange.
Secret Speyside 28 yo 1991 (42,6%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams 2020)
Nose: this one is quite oily as well, but in a rather mineral way. Sunflower oil. Lemon balm and lime leafs. More leather, a few waxed papers and dried mixed herbs. Maybe a slightly austere hint of Fino sherry as well (the chalky, autolytic aspects, no dried fruits obviously). Becomes fresher over time, with more citrus and some green notes.
Mouth: quite gentle but with a superb old, spirit-driven Speyside character. Waxed papers again, with orange and lime, but also buttery touches, canvas and soft camphor. Bergamot. Floral tea. A little dried mint. Still this slightly chalky undertone. Certainly less rounded than its younger sibling, more Highlands style perhaps.
Finish: a slight leafy bitterness now, alongside herbs and floral notes, always with waxy notes in the background.
Lovely oldschool character. Not the easiest style, but complex and rewarding nonetheless. Overall I prefer the allround pleasures and intensity of the 1994 though. Same story: still a few bottles available here and there, also from The Whisky Exchange.