Whiskybase
Overall rating
91.02/100
votes
68
Whiskybase ID
WB190634
Category
Single Malt
Bottler
Sansibar (Sb)
Bottling serie
White Label
Vintage
1985
Bottled
2020
Stated Age
35 years old
Casktype
Bourbon Cask
Number of bottles
178
Strength
45.8 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Bottled for
Joint Bottling with deinwhisky.de
Added on
27 aug 2021 9:04 pm by McBeck
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 451.27

51 × in wishlist

68 × member ratings

106 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Secret Highland Distillery 1985 Sb

23 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.02 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    [September, 2021] Just imagine for a moment: You find a 35-years old Glenmorangie (which is almost impossible) for a somewhat reasonable price (which is impossible) - what will it taste like?

    Exactly like this dram, most probably. This is the rare chance to experience such an old Glenmo' without paying thousands of bucks. It offers a balanced and complex old Highland profile which is both very interesting to explore and enjoyable to sip - a delight for all connoisseurs who prefer delicate and subtle drams.
    • Nose
      93 93
      The colour is burnished and the nose offers an impressive honey-sweet and herbal-waxy profile with lots of hidden secrets to discover. I strongly suggest to use a big spherical blender's glass for this old beauty to unlock all aromas over time (it enfolds nicely upon breathing). The profile changes over time with additional impressions of resins, shoe polish, autumn flowers and different spices. This truly is an old style Highland profile without off-notes or imbalances, simply great!
    • Taste
      94 94
      Wow, the taste is excellent with lots of different honeys and fruits floating over my tongue in a spicy, oily sauce topped with vanilla cream. After some chewing a lot more flavours are released among them such different impressions like leathery notes, milk chocolate, peppers, ginger, herbal tea and mocha. This is very interesting to explore in details because this taste is nicely layered too, and stays in balance all the time. There is no flaw that I can find except that it is simply too quaffable.
    • Finish
      91 91
      The initial mouthfeel is very charming with a warming, creamy texture covering all of my mouth instantly without distracting moments. The finish is long and adds more spices, fruits and some notes of (very) old cognac which are delicious. The wood is perfect for such an old age, it provides a clear structure for all other flavours but never tries to dominate. There is a minor cardboardy note towards the very end which is not distracting, in doubt simply take the next sip. Some drops of water release more fruits both in the nose and on the palate so if you have a sweet spot for fruits reduce this dram a little to about 43% abv. A further reduction strengthens the waxy-mineral impression so if you like the old waxy Highland style reduce it further to about 40% abv. I like it neat and reduced at different levels which is another characteristic of a great malt.

  2. Prof_Dr_John scored this whisky 93 points Photo Moderator

    Secret Highland 35 years, bottled for Sansibar and DeinWhisky.de, available for 375 euros at the beginning of sales. For me a very fair price, considering what single malts of this age currently cost. It doesn't matter whether the name of the still is explicitly on it or not. This is a very good, old, fruity malt that shows its long maturation period. It is very well balanced and it is a great pleasure to explore it bit by bit. Here you can see that it doesn't always have to be old sherry cask bottlings that always have to play first fiddle. The question remains about the distillery. I don't want to lean too far out of the window here (tap on Tomatin), there are certainly enough experts who have greater knowledge. In any case, it bears a certain resemblance to the old 30s Tomatin, which unfortunately is no longer available. Perhaps this question will be answered once several people have had it in their glass. A very good buy for me anyway. Even if it is not a sherry barrel whisky and for me, as a cask strength lover, it has "only" 45.8%, I am absolutely thrilled with this whisky and give it a strong 93 points today. Slainté!
    • Nose
      94 94
      The color is dark gold and the 35 Secret Highland lies oily in the nosing glass and gives off a bewitching, sensationally fruity scent immediately after pouring it. Here it becomes immediately clear: you have something old and venerable in your glass. Bananas, honey, peach, vanilla, papaya, peach, honeydew melon etc ... you could scroll up and down the entire tropical fruit register - the longer he breathes, the more you can discover. The certain wax aromas that one has in old Strathislas can also be recognized here. The alcohol with its 45.8% is very well integrated and hardly noticeable. Over time, subtle wood notes come to the fore. My associations here go in the direction of cigar boxes and wood shavings. Spicy notes such as a touch of white pepper, nutmeg and subtle herbs are also added. However, the sweet fruitiness dominates. Overall, this Secret Highland reminds me of the 1965 Glen Grant, which I was allowed to taste some time ago (only I like this one better) and especially of the old 30 Tomatin with 46%, which raises the question of whether there is a Tomatin behind hidden in this malt. Who knows?
    • Taste
      93 93
      The whisky is creamy and oily on the tongue and the 45.8% push unusually well at first. The nosing continues skillfully on the tongue. The tropical fruits dominate, only that spicy wood notes are now a lot more present. Now the long maturation period of 35 years in bourbon casks is noticeable. With the second sip, there is a certain slight ginger spiciness, which keeps the tropical aromas in check for a short time, but then has to give up again. Overall, the 35 Secret Highland makes a very balanced impression on the tongue. The longer you have it in your mouth and “chew” it, the more nuances you can discover. Everything is perfectly balanced and there are no missing grades, I like it very much.
    • Finish
      92 92
      The finish is long and warm. At first you have the slight spiciness very present on the tongue, the saliva flow is at its maximum and if you inhale vigorously through your mouth, you get the whole load of aromas unfiltered on all taste buds. Little by little, the tropical sweetness comes back and fights back to pole position, but it leaves enough space for the spicy, herbal aromas, which become more and more intense over time and remain in the mouth for an hour to delight with a wonderful, complex taste experience.

  3. WiltChamberlain scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    09/21/2021 - Update: Tried again today. I must have had an off-day, today the whisky seems a lot more complex to me. I agree with Horror_Vacui, today it totally reminds me of Vallein Tercinier, especially Lot 71. Very tropical, exotic, pleasing - simply extremely tasty. For me it clearly scratches the 95 rating, which is why I'm increasing now, also due to the extreme complexity and balance.

    90 -> 94

    Edit: The 86 points are a joke, it was clear that these come from a junior.
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      93 93

  4. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Nose:
    When the sample was filled, there was already a scent in the room that I had more of a long-matured cognac in this intensity.

    Exceptionally fruity, mango, papaya, passion fruit. Pink grapefruit, desiccated coconut. Light leather notes, from old leather. Some tobacco.
    Tropical woods and slightly ethereal fragrances.
    Reminds me of many Vallein Tercinier cognacs.

    Mouth:
    Also in the mouth a fruit bomb, with beautiful spicy oak notes, reminiscent of ginger when it starts.
    Fruit salad and an espresso with it. Coconut, nutmeg, tobacco.

    Finish:
    Long, here more clearly oak but the tropical fruits are still present.

    92/100

    Conclusion:
    A really great whisky, not tired of old age but lively and fruity, nice bottling strength. I find it particularly positive that the whisky does justice to the great nose in the mouth and does not fade slightly like some longer matured whiskys.

  5. Totolino scored this whisky 93 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      92 92

  6. Whisky.Hedonist.MY scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Thanks weihong0220 for sharing this bottle.
    • Nose
      92 92
      An avalanche of fresh fruits welcome you as soon as you put your nose near to your glass. I got honeydew, winter melon, overripe oranges as well as some nice and sticky honey notes. This is the perfect example of excellent bourbon maturation that we don't often see in today's market.
    • Taste
      92 92
      Lovely fruity arrival on the palate, even at 45.8%, the flavors are bold and intense. Lots of honey besides the fruits, and some silky waxiness. Love the oily, tongue coating mouthfeel. Also love the subtle bitterness and waxiness that compliments the fruits and honey perfectly.
    • Finish
      93 93
      Superbly balance in the finish, flawless. One of the best finish I've had in years. Just fruits and honey and "I feel good"!

  7. Isabell scored this whisky 93 points Member Senior

    No major discussion - an outstanding single malt from the Bourbon Cask. For me, these old bottlings from the ex-bourbon always stand out, I only find the tropical notes here. Of course, with a maturation period of 35 years, this only works with very specific barrels. At no time do I have the feeling of being struck by oak freight. Lively, fruity, exotic, never decrepit and with good drinking strength. An additional plus point: Finally (even at this age) the palate and not just the nose are convincing - a harmonious overall picture. Cheers!
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      93 93

  8. MikerG2k scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

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

  9. Will_iam scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    The price-performance ratio is extremely good. The price is proud, but if the still could be recognized, this whisky would be significantly more expensive.
    I don't know of any comparable whisky that has matured in bourbon casks and offers this multifaceted variety of flavors.
    • Nose
      He gets floral and fruity in the nose. For me it goes more into the citrus fruits. I have never known such a smell from a whisky coming out of a bourbon barrel.
    • Taste
      A potpourri of tropical fruits comes through here. But what remains dominant is a green and somewhat tart apple. The alcohol is perfectly integrated.
    • Finish
      The finish remains fruity and long. I don't know whether you should drink another whisky after this, because it will be tasty and fruity for a long time.

  10. Dram Brigade scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Great, with good freshness for such old whisky, layers of fruits, honey.
    • Nose
      93 93
      Deep rich fruitiness, beewax, apple concentrate, hint of dust. After a sip, huge orange concentrate arrival, layers of fruits and honey, nice hint of black tea.
    • Taste
      91 91
      Rich fruit bomb, with honey, hint of smoke, some leather, sweet tea, sweet licorice. And definitely orange concentrate.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Long, minty and layers of fruits, with very nice orange concentrate

  11. teurodevil scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  12. Seanzhang scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

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

  13. KILLSWLTCH scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      93 93

  14. Tuco1972 scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  15. Mik scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

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

  16. Astrid scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    A gentle giant? Not quite! With a few courageous drops of water, a number of aromas - fruits and spices - can be teased out. You won't get enough of that. For the full review, go here: https://keinehalbendrinks.de/2022/05/14/secrets-of-sansibar/
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  17. daverdaz scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      86 86

  18. Malt-Taster scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  19. ConvalRen scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

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

  20. Sjaak92 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

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

  21. Hvdree scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  22. Tommyknocker scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

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

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