Whiskybase
Overall rating
91.28/100
votes
38
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

€ 467.89

47 × in wishlist

38 × member ratings

75 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Secret Highland Distillery 1985 Ma

9 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.28 points

  1. 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.
    • 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.

  2. FritzeKrautman scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    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

  3. 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

  4. GIngi scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

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

  5. 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.

  6. McMoulis scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

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

  7. Ing Tretti scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

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

  8. 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.  

  9. Silversurfer scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

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

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