Secret Islay 2008 (WhiskyNerds)

Secret Islay 2008 (WhiskyNerds)

When the WhiskyNerds bottled their Springbank 1995 some five years ago, they filled the empty cask with a 10 year old Islay single malt. Although the distillery is undisclosed, the letter colours on the label should give us a clue.


Secret Islay Malt 14 yo 2008 (54,4%, WhiskyNerds 2023, refill hogshead #13C, 172 btl.)

Nose: initially perhaps more Springbank than Caol Ila, in my opinion, although that balance changes over time. Sour plums and red berries, tobacco leaves, roasted chestnuts. Then orange peels, leather and rusty metals. Whiffs of dried Bündnerfleisch and sooty exhaust smoke. Eucalyptus and other refreshing herbs too.

Mouth: now more classical, closer to what you’d expect from sherried Caol Ila. Lovely deep smoke alongside salty lemons, a little ginger and Seville orange. Some liquorice, walnuts and dark roast meat with herbs. Hints of camphor. The typical coppery notes, brine and leafy tobacco of its Campbeltown pedigree also appear.

Finish: long, spicier, with black peppercorns, a hint of juniper, salt and hints of dried fruits.

Really good. Apart from being a high quality sherry cask, the Springbank influence adds another layer of complexity to this Islay whisky. Kind of a poor man’s Springbank, in a way, but a really nice result! Still seen at Passion for Whisky or for instance.