The Whisky Jury already released two Secret Speyside whiskies some time ago, one of which was certainly from the same distillery we’re having today. In fact we’re trying two releases at once, one is a worldwide release and the other one exclusive to The Antelope in Macau (mind the TWJ circle in the colour of the Macau flag).
Even if we cannot tell you which distillery the spirit came from, the fonts and colour of the label should give you an unmistakable hint.
Secret Speyside 31 yo 1990 (51,4%, The Whisky Jury for The Antelope Macau 2022, refill hogshead, 207 btl.)
Nose: stewed apples with different orange notes (peels, juice, blossoms). Hints of beeswax and wildflower honey. Earl Grey. Then leathery notes and furniture polish. Praline and whiffs of canvas come out after a while. Also subtle rancio and dried apricots. A highly refined, elegant whisky with perfectly integrated oak.
Mouth: quite a big impact. Superb oranges and marmalade, with oily echoes. Leather and oak spice (green peppercorn, crystallized ginger). Light earthy and caramelly undertones. Some fruit tea and a light herbal side as it goes down. There are wee glimpses of dark fruits but the oak influence is bigger.
Finish: long, with more of the spiced marmalade and subtle herbal tea.
Lovely whisky with a great family heritage and a gentle sherry influence. Elegant, with a beautiful nose and a balanced oak footprint. On its way to Macao as we speak, start the hunt.
Secret Speyside 31 yo 1990 (51,7%, The Whisky Jury 2022, refill hogshead, 204 btl.)
Nose: a slightly leaner profile, I’d say, with some added minty freshness. The oranges seem to be brighter as well, mixed with tangerines and apricot. The downside is that you get less waxy notes and less furniture. After some airing darker notes of mocha, light tobacco and walnuts appear in the background, as well as raisins.
Mouth: Again this has flashes of brighter fruits (pink grapefruit, crystallized fruits, lemon peels) which come with a firm oaky side. Then fruit tea and a few drops of herbal cocktail bitters. Hints of plum eau-de-vie. Mint again. Warm with above average complexity.
Finish: long, fresh, with ginger, fruit tea and oaky spice in the back.
Very hard to choose in this case, both are almost perfect. On the nose I really liked the waxed oaky note of the Macau edition, but overall the polished elegance and complexity give this one an edge. Head over to the TWJ website for retailers. Score: 91/100