The latest release from the WhiskyNerds just arrived in stores. It is a Secret Orkney 2004, a 17 year old single malt that was probably distilled at Highland Park. Other bottlers like CasQueteers and Artful Dodger already bottled similar sherry casks (even filled on the same day).
Secret Orkney 17 yo 2004 (49,4%, WhiskyNerds 2022, butt #13, 248 btl.)
Nose: a leathery start, followed by hints of chalk, wet pebbles and mineral oils, as well as a bag of lemons and oranges. Chestnut honey and sage. Overall the sherry is a gentle (refill) Oloroso style and brings along a mossy sweetness, some tobacco and a clear whiff of gunpowder. Subtle smoke too.
Mouth: rather sweet now, focusing on orange cake and honey, with hints of berry syrup and gingerbread. Brown sugar and apples, with heather and peppery notes. Ginger biscuits with a little toffee and chocolate in the background. Then soft, warm smoke mixing with sweet herbal touches and menthol. A little clove comes out in the end.
Finish: long, with sweet oranges, more of the sweet herbs (thyme and black pepper now) and oak spice.
A really sweet Highland Park. Initially I had some trouble with the caramel and gunpowder on the nose, but after a while the sweet sherry style really grew on me. Very enjoyable with a good balance. Now available from retailers like Whiskybase or Whiskysite.nl for instance.