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secret highland 10 yo (2010/2020, Passion For Whisky, 52,4%)

secret-highland-passion-for-whisky-boogieman

Since you are all very attentive readers, you will have realised that the scourge of independent bottling without a declared distillery has now spread, affecting producers who are obviously full of modesty, and not just the undeclared ‘classics’ such as Glenfarclas, Macallan and Highland Park. Among the distilleries that are suffering this fate, because evidently the owners say “the brand is mine and I manage it” (as if it wasn’t thanks to the independents that certain distilleries are now a cult, but whatever), there is also our beloved Clynelish: the many “secret Highland Distillery”, “A Sutherland Distillery”, etc. that are coming onto the market, well, they’re almost always Clynelish. For the tenth anniversary of Passion For Whisky, they partnered with Boogieman and bottled a Secret Highland aged in an ex-bourbon barrel, with an output of only 128 bottles (we imagine it’s a split) – if anyone had any doubts about the distillery, well, the very retro label leaves no further doubt…

secret-highland-passion-for-whisky-boogieman

N: well, if by chance you doubt even the label, you just need to put your nose on it to get pacified: it is Clynelish, at its young best. Lime, pizza dough, candied citron, candle wick…. There’s a vivid tyre shop vibe, complete with the classic porn calendar hanging on the wall. Galoshes soaked in sea water: the more romantic would perhaps say ‘winter beach’. Sugar icing. A very strict whisky. In time, lemon candy fizz.

P: really explosive, and very different from the nose: the identity of the distillery here is, if possible, even more unambiguous. There is a devastating note of candle wax (and its freshly extinguished wick), then lots of paraffin. The austere pleasantness, however, is always there, and declares itself with cedar peel, yellow apple and sugar icing.

F: long and consistent on the palate, with wax, apple and a hint of lemon and sea.

Just a few words: a perfect Clynelish, that goes straight down, without frills, throwing all the glory of its distillate in your face. Why Diageo prevents the name “Clynelish” from being further illuminated by bottlings such as these, well, seems difficult to fully understand. In any case, the important thing is that a spirit of this kind continues to circulate, always, among enthusiasts – because this stuff should be drunk, known, appreciated and spread. 90/100, see you tomorrow for another mysterious Highlander…

Recommended soundtrack: King Crimson – Fallen Angel.

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