The Whisky Agency has just announced its Winter 2020 releases, probably arriving in stores in the next couple of weeks. As always there are several very interesting bottlings but something we like to try first is the Secret Speyside 1973. These whiskies are now approaching 50 years of age…
Secret Speyside 47 yo 1973 (45,0%, The Whisky Agency 2020, hogshead, 338 btl.)
Nose: the delicate, half-fruity / half-herbal style that reminds us of old cognac at times. Quinces and apricots, some berries and orange peels. Mixed with crushed mint leaves, gorse and light acacia honey. There’s a little less warmth, a little less waxy character as well this time, but the freshness and integration are immaculate.
Mouth: certainly not underpowered. Less fruity now, more on herbs and resins, pinewood and old ointments. Hints of tobacco leaves. Maybe some crystalized tangerine but not much. Verbena and herbal tea. Again a little less warm than previous releases. It’s very clean and focused in a way, as if all the unnecessary details have been wiped out.
Finish: medium length, fresh and lean. Light menthol and lemon balm.
Carsten sees many differences between this one and the previous bottlings, he even thinks it could be a different distillery altogether. Who am I to disagree, but for me it could still be cask variation within the same house. We’ll never know. In any case: another very fine (in more than one sense) variation on the Speyside 1973’s. Around € 600 if I’m not mistaken.