Overall rating
91.04/100
votes
71
Whiskybase ID
WB160425
Category
Single Malt
Bottler
Mancarella (Ma)
Vintage
03.1985
Bottled
03.2020
Stated Age
35 years old
Casktype
Hogshead
Casknumber
15
Number of bottles
114
Strength
48.8 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Bottled for
Joint Bottling with deinwhisky.de
Added on
13 jun 2020 12:06 pm by McBeck
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 429.26

42 × in wishlist

71 × member ratings

87 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Secret Highland Distillery 1985 Ma

14 users have left 14 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 91.04 points.

  1. FritzeKrautman scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    A very nice, very complex whisky. The various fruit notes are particularly popular. On the palate it is a bit too impetuous for me, the alcohol is not optimally integrated. The long finish then makes up for that. After several minutes, pleasant associations of the whisky remain.
    • Nose
      91 91
      A beautiful, well-ripened bourbon barrel nose with many different fruits. Raisins, peach and unripe banana. Lemon balm and short floral notes. Dust. Later tobacco and wood, the longer it stays in the glass.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Sweetness, vanilla, malt, light fruits, mint and light bitterness. The alcohol is peppery and quite aggressive.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Long, warm finish with oak, strawberries and honey

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  3. JoshNRW scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    I had the opportunity to taste this whisky twice and both times I like the tasting better than the nosing, also because the mouthfeel is simply outstanding.
    • Nose
      91 91
      Blender's 91.5
      Flowery, fruity beginning, with orange and beeswax. The streaks on the edge of the glass creep very, very slowly and thickly when panning. Surprisingly little wood for the age.

      After 20 minutes, the high fruit fades more and more, or rather, it spreads more luxuriantly.
      The scent reminds me of a Werthers Echter to bite into and wildflower honey.
      In the blender's glass, nothing bothers or stings, which is not entirely self-evident with almost 49 percent. With time, the bourbon portion of the cask becomes more prominent.

      With water, more wood comes to light.
    • Taste
      93 93
      92.5 Glencairn
      At the second tasting, the mouthfeel and the development flashed me again. The almost 49 percent here is simply perfect and much more pure drinking fun is hardly possible, although this does not mean the depth.

      Dry start, then broad sweetness, light and compared to the nose a bit more spiciness, a bit more wood here and a very slight bitterness in the end, but everything harmonizes wonderfully and nothing dominates too much. Wow!
    • Finish
      91 91
      Remains long and, in contrast to the nose, surprisingly because it is comparatively drier.

  4. nallacam scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    I am assuming a bourbon hogshead that had 1-2 toppings beforehand and where you tried to take as much flavor as possible with you with the longest possible ripening time. Worked very well on the nose, but not quite on the palate.
    • Nose
      91 91
      Beguilingly fruity.
      Jam, honey, fresh honeycomb, a touch of lavender soap.
      There are also earthy notes, a moss-covered forest floor in a hot, dry summer.
      Over time, the oak on tap comes through, discreet and pleasant.
      All tastes seem to be coated with a bit of honey.
      In addition to the lavender, there are other herbs such as thyme, fresh bay leaf and a little rosemary.

      Very fine nose, wonderfully matured and with 48.8% Alc. perfect for sniffing.
    • Taste
      88 88
      I don't like it as much in the mouth as I do in the nose.
      The barrel influence is a bit too much here.
      Strong oak notes, dry and slightly bitter.
      The herbs in the nose are now dry and slightly dusty.
      The fine fruity notes, such as mirabelle plum, peach and pear are still there, but have to be curled with a little time.

      The mouth takes time and still fails to continue the complex nose.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Quite long, dry and a bit of metal (iron) is included.
      Oak and slight bitterness remain.

  5. didi1893 scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Old and dignified, multi-layered and complex! This mysterious Highlander burns off a real firework of aromas and inspires with its elegant and at the same time voluminous character. I find the interplay of wax, fresh mint or menthol, dried fruits, spicy wood tones and pleasant sharpness particularly impressive.

    23/23/23/23 (92P)
    • Nose
      Bright amber shimmers mysteriously in the glass, on the glass wall of my Premium Snifter long and oily "legs" draw their endless paths back into the glass. Subtle roasted aromas with a hint of dried grapes come into their own, apricots play with peaches, honey drips onto bananas and apples, other yellow fruits appear slightly waxy. Abrasion from dried citrus fruits mixes with floral hints, hints of meadow herbs and dried mint, nuances of old tobacco and minimal smoke, dry leather comes out discreetly and mixes with hard caramel. Fine wood spice slowly stimulates the saliva and calls for the first sip ...
    • Taste
      The first sip flows gently over the tongue. Slightly bitter oak tones end with a subtle spiciness on the tongue, raisins and dried apricots emerge, caramel and honey end in toffee and a hint of milk chocolate. While white pepper with a hint of chilli still rests on the tongue, citrus zest are combined with old vanilla and slightly salty caramel. Gradually the pleasant sharpness on the tongue intensifies, cozy warmth floods the palate and stimulates the flow of saliva. After the second sip, spicy oak plays with dried citrus fruits, coarse grains of salt melt on the tongue with crushed pepper, fresh mint ends in a hint of menthol and eucalyptus. Beeswax and old honey, caramel and crumbs of milk chocolate with floral notes and old citrus fruits.
    • Finish
      Citrus fruits stick slightly tart with a hint of peppery spiciness on the palate, dark oak tones end slightly tart on the tongue, raisins and caramel swim creamy in the stimulated saliva under the tongue. With floral and slightly grassy notes, the long aftertaste with old mint and a hint of menthol gradually fades away and leaves a minimally waxy and oily mouthfeel.

  6. WhiskyWitold scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      90 90

  7. DerDennis! scored this whisky 93 points Specialist

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  8. DocF did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Tasting: http://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/157577
    http://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/160425
    http://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/159848

    Color: Deep copper.

    It's also tasty, old, with the right range of flavors, but also difficult to cobble together notes in terms of notes without a trunk in the glass. With all the highly rated 35yo Secret something, I briefly began to doubt my competence, luckily there is still the last Highlander in this round. 88 points.
    • Nose
      Lighter, lemon peel, lemon drops, tree sap, chestnut blossom, violet, polished wood, thyme. Some nutmeg, hay. With water: more violet pastilles, later mold, undergrowth, unripe apples.
    • Taste
      Mint tea, white pepper, rapeseed honey, chestnut blossom. Furniture polish, old wood. Sunflower oil. Mustard seeds. More resinous with a little chew. With water: Then in the mouth violet pastilles, lots of polished wood, gray bread, fir resin.
    • Finish
      Long. A mixture of hay, rapeseed blossoms and mint. Orange peel. Becomes bitterer, like chewing on the skin of an old cucumber. At some point it is forgivingly resinous, thank you.

  9. McMoulis scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  10. Ing Tretti scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  11. Pizzaboxy scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    Yes, could be a Glenmorangie. I like Glenmorangie. It's not a 95+ Whisky. It's also not a 89-. So I give it 92 points. If I bought a 35yo Glenmorangie for 800,- Euro for it, I would likely give the 92 as well. For me that's a rather high scored good old whisky but considering the oilynes, sweetness and mandarins, I'm happy to give it a 92 in total. Nose is definitely the best after a while. Give it a bit of time to breathe (10-15min), you won't regret it.  

  12. Silversurfer scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      91 91

  13. rampah scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Rumored to be an old Glenmorangie.

    From all those Secret Highland Malts from the 80s, this is yet my favourite. No bad notes, deep complexity and a well rounded profile.

    I am quite a fan of these Highland bottlings, because I like this style more than for example the 70s Speysider style, which are also very good in their own way. So don't get too confused by my high ratings for them. I simply enjoy this style a lot.

    Despite its high price tag, I am tempted to buy another bottle of it. I can hardly believe, that some other Highland bottling can top this one in the near future.
    • Nose
      95 95
    • Taste
      95 95
    • Finish
      94 94

  14. GIngi scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  15. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [June, 2020] This seems to be a sister cask to the Secret Highland Distillery 1985 edition by The Whisky Agency (WB id 157577) which is a Glenmorangie (according to Serge and Angus) but I had trouble to identify the Glenmo's profile in that release (maybe because of its cardboardy off-notes). So I am curious if this one provides better clues...

    ...and it does! Actually, I like this cask much better than its TWA sibling. It shows the (old) Glenmo' profile much better and is almost completely free of off-notes or signs of over-aging. An official Glenmorangie botting of such an old age would be sold for four-digit bucks, certainly.

    [March, 2022] I extensively re-tasted this dram tonight and I am even more impressed than with the first tasting, tonight I would raise this score to 92 points (mainly due to a better finish) but I leave the score as it was with the first tasting. Oxidation in a two-third empty bottle seems to benefit this dram greatly so I had to empty this bottle tonight.

    I raise this dram to all unfortunate souls who were forced to pass in Ukraine just because of one man's "greater vision". Remember what the first chancellor of Germany after World War II (Konrad Adenauer) stated "If you own a vision: Go and consult your physician!".
    • Nose
      92 92
      The colour is quite dark (for a bourbon maturation) at burnished and I use a big spheric blender's glass to nose this old gem. Right after serving the nose offers a flawless and impressive old highland-style profile with loads of fruits, honeys, waxes, oils and spices. The wood is about perfect, rather shy for a 35-years old maturation but strong enough to provide a firm framework for all other aromas to join in. After some breathing dozens of additional impressions pop up - among them furniture polish, autumn flowers and stronger vanilla notes. The profile changes significantly over time but it stays very interesting and enjoyable. A great nose, much better than the TWA one - I call this a benchmark old highland-style nose.
    • Taste
      92 92
      The taste is multi-layered starting with lots of different fruits followed by hot spices (chili, white pepper, shy vanilla) followed by waxes followed by molten barley sugars followed by vegetable oils followed by... This is very entertaining to explore and dangerously quaffable, no doubt. No flaw or imbalance that I can find, and again the wood acts about perfect in the background. After some chewing the sugars and spices combine to a delicious note of milk chocolate while the waxes and oils grow stronger, too. I call this a benchmark old highland-style taste.
    • Finish
      90 90
      The initial mouthfeel is very charming with a creamy texture covering all of the mouth within seconds. There is a minor bitter impression which is rather welcomed in this context because of the overall sweet taste. The finish is long and adds more floral impressions (heather flowers, wet haystacks). There is a minor cardboardy moment at the very end which is a little distracting (but it was much stronger hence annoying with the TWA). Water releases even more old-style aromas in the nose and turns the taste smoother but less interesting. I like to nose this dram both neat and somewhat reduced but prefer to drink it neat.

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