Incredible Indies, February 2023

We’ve boxed up this very special Incredible Indies selection as we were recently lucky enough to get our hands on some long-lost Secret Spirits stock. Originally part of their 2018 release and stashed away in a warehouse in Scotland ever since, all 5 expressions are single cask at cask strength and long ago sold out. As a cherry on the indie cake, the box guest stars a very special bottling from fellow indie Douglas Laing. Enjoy! – The Dram Team

Incredible Indies! February 2023 Box

Glen Moray 2006 by Secret Spirits

The Dram Team love Glen Moray whisky - sweet, fruity Speyside creaminess in a glass. But this is a rare off-piste venture for us, as we’ve barely sampled any Glen Moray that wasn't released by the distillery itself - yet alone at such whopping cask strength. Punch-packing pudding in a glass this...yum!

Tasting notes 

Glen Moray spirit is soft and fruity. Most releases use American oak (ex-bourbon casks), which lends sweet oak and buttery vanilla over time.

Glentauchers 2008 by Secret Spirits

The first of several single malts here that historically made their way almost entirely into notable blends, Glentauchers is a key component of the Black & White brand. It is increasingly prevalent in indie releases in the last decade or so. This ex-bourbon cask expression has quite a bit of bite, but is very well balanced for an 11 year old whisky at such a high bottling strength.

Tasting notes:

On the lighter side of the spectrum, Glentaucher's spirit is flowery, and tends to mature into sweet, gently spiced and fruity whisky.

Craigellachie 2008 by Secret Spirits

Another blend-beast, 98% of all Craigellachie spirit makes its way into well-known blends, principally Dewar's White Label. We're therefore privileged to get some of the remaining 2% that sees the light of day as single malt. A distinctive style of spirit that arises from a very sulphurous new make - the scent of the still house at Craigellachie does not do the end product justice!

Tasting notes:

Craigellachie malt is very characterful and full-flavoured. Heavy and distinctly sulphurous in style as new make, with maturation fruitiness and tropical/floral notes emerge.

Auchinderom 2011 by Secret Spirits

Auchinderom is peated malt distilled at the Highland Distillery of Glenglassaugh - a site that fell foul of widespread distillery closures in the 80s, restarting production in 2008. This 2011 release was finished in a Sauternes cask. Sauternes is a sweet French wine that tends to add sweet notes of honeyed fruit - a nice contrast to the peated spirit.

Tasting notes:

Glenglassaugh new make spirit tends to be medium weight and very fruity with a heavy honeyed floral character. Here, expect smoke from the peated malt and a boost to the sweet honeyed fruit notes thanks to the Sauternes cask.

Smoldering (Caol Ila) 2006 by Secret Spirits

This "Smoldering" release is from Caol Ila distillery. For a long part of its history, Caol Ila (pronounced "Cull eela") was used almost exclusively in blends. These days, it is one of the more popular choices for independent bottlers looking to bottle some single malt  Islay whisky - which can be very hard to come by in the cask-trading market.

Tasting notes:

Caol Ila's distillery character combines fresh pear notes, grassiness, a hint of juniper and distinct notes of the seashore – lobster shells, crab creels and gentle smoke.

Xtra Old Particular Port Dundas 2000

Our guest of honour in this Secret Spirits-focused box is this single grain gem from indie faves Douglas Laing. This Port Dundas was distilled in February 2000 and matured for 21 years exclusively in a Refill Hogshead. For mature grain-heads like us, this is a little drop of heaven!

Tasting notes:

Nose: Vanilla fresh on the nose with buttered hot cross buns and a hint of orange zest.

Palate: Thick and fulsome with a creamy cereal style and baking spice.

Finish: Lingers with a spicy zing and a fruit salad tang.

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