After the Glen Garioch 24y of the The Maltman series recently excited me so much, I'm looking forward to another The Maltman bottling. This time it is a 26 year old secret speech from the bourbon barrel.
The whisky shimmers golden in the glass. The first thing I can hear on the nose are bright, fresh fruits combined with a spiciness: citrus fruits with zest from lime and orange peel, juicy peaches, tropical fruits such as pineapple, papaya and a somewhat unripe mango. All fruits lie on a sweet, sticky-moist cake batter, which with its vanilla aroma accompanies the fruitiness. The spiciness consists of a hint of candied ginger and a little pepper and complements the fruity sweetness. Light tannins on tap with a subtle wood note of not too old furniture (so not grandmother's old oak chest of drawers in the attic!) Are the last components of the variety of flavors. Above all there is a sourness that is a little too penetrative for me.
In the mouth initially with a stronger attack than I would have expected for an alcohol content of 46.7%. I have the tropical fruits that were also found in the aroma. The pineapple is much stronger in the mouth than in the nose, peaches are added, citrus fruits provide a sour freshness, then the spiciness takes over command with pepper and the wood from the bourbon barrel. There is a bit of bittersweet chocolate on the palate, played by subtle vanilla from the cake batter.
The tannins are now clearly noticeable in the finish. 26 years in the barrel are noticeable and that's okay. The fruitiness reminds a little of the mouthfeel after eating Tropifruttis. I would rate the finish as a maximum of medium length. I lack complexity at the exit.
Overall, it is a fruity whisky, which you can also enjoy on warmer summer evenings. For me, the Secret Speyside 26y from the The Maltman series is a good whisky from an ex-bourbon barrel, but without causing any real storms of enthusiasm.
I give it 87/100 points. A whisky, of which I would like to have a dram in the glass again, but would not buy a bottle.