The Secret Series no.1 - 30 Year Old
The Secret Series no.1 - 30 Year Old
The Secret Series no.1 - 30 Year Old
The Secret Series no.1 - 30 Year Old
The Secret Series no.1 - 30 Year Old

The Secret Series no.1 - 30 Year Old

VAT included

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky – Sherry Cask

Spirit strength: 47.5%
Bottle size: 700ml
Distillery: 58.0245° N, 3.8661° W
Being sold by: Vintage Bottlers Ltd
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Sku: SS001
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Tasting Notes

Cask Type


It is hardly surprising that the whisky selected for Vintage Bottlers' debut offering should be among the most complex of single malts. Distilled on the coast in the Nothern reaches of the Highland region, this 30-year-old rendition of a spirit that has proudly borne its label on the bottle for 200 years, combines the very best of its topical tradition with a powerful Maritime influence.

Strange to think that such a revered name in the long annals of Scotch whisky should only exist because in the early 19th century, an English nobleman married into top-drawer Scottish aristocracy and founded a distillery in 1819 merely to find a profitable use for the barley grown on his estate, and to deliver a knockout blow to the local moonshiners.

If it took some time for the reputation of the brand to break out to a wider public, it was only because for much of its existence since the distillery was rebuilt and production was expanded in 1967, now capable of producing just under 5 million litres a year, the malt has been a staple component of one of the world's most successful blends, and in particular, the premium version. The reason why becomes all too apparent the moment the stopper is removed from the bottle.

With the sea to one side, and extensive meadows to the other, floral notes coupled with a strong brine dominate the fragrance which some commentators also liken to dark chocolate or mahogany. The palate of flavours is decidedly muscular; waxy being an oft-used description. There is a biscuity element with a strong backdrop of candied ginger, prunes and a further sea-borne tang. The long finish is perhaps surprisingly cool, with a suggestion of menthol and liquorice.

Vintage Bottlers are proud indeed that our first release should be such a 'big' statement whisky; sure to find a home in any collection that includes the finest examples of the distiller operating at the very zenith of his art. It is a dram that will delight all those who seek excellence in their appreciation of this precious gift of the Scottish Highlands.

Colour: New cut hay

Nose: Dark chocolate and mountain coffee beans against a background of antiseptic iodine

Palate: Dark forest fruits flambe, burnt caramel

Finish: Menthol with hints of liquorice

It is very unusual for a Highland whisky, and certainly betrays its coastal origin. There is a deep warmth on the palate which had me thinking this may just burn as it goes down, but no, it is as smooth as silk, and what I describe as menthol, gives an impression of coolness.

By Gordon Coxhill, Whisky Enthusiast & Journalist


Nose: Okay, sweet, creamy, with straw, hazelnut chocolate cookies, marzipan, red apples, a little peach, almonds, desiccated coconut, slight sultanas, vanilla, hints of sandalwood and Madeira cake. What a start!

Palate: Citrus first on the palate before some oak spice, sultanas, salted caramel chocolate, stewed dark fruits, blackberry jam, honey, vanilla, some candies ginger, old oak furniture. Quite a waxy/mouth-coating texture. Delicious!

Finish: Leather, milk chocolate, nuts, hints of liquorice, sugar-coated almonds and toasted oak.

With water: Fresher nose with more fruit and a touch of lemon. The palate is less sweet and spicier with a little grapefruit appearing. The finish is a bit dried with more oak spice and some pepper.

Overall this is an absolutely delicious and rewarding dram. The sherry is not overpowering the whisky and you get such an array of flavours that you can lose track of time just enjoying both smell and taste… Amazing!

By Etienne (@themaltcask)


Nose: A very pleasing array of classic notes you would hope to find in something three decades old: rich nuttiness, cedar wood, polished furniture, a distinct floral waxiness, sponge cake, heather honey, almond oil and a touch of amontillado sherry. It’s beautifully well rounded, soft and inviting.

Palate: Viscous and oily at first, with a little prickle coming after. Think cinnamon, cloves, dark chocolate, then a touch of something sweeter: Turkish Delight, bonfire toffee and a little herbal dryness as you dig deeper. It’s complex, robust and yet not overpowering in any way.

Finish: Dry and lingering, with a touch of black cherry, spicy oak and more dark chocolate.

Over all, this is a terrific way to see in the new year: a fireside dram of depth and complexity, which you can properly unwind with, and rather unlike the New Year’s resolutions we all try and fail to keep, it certainly delivers a calming and honest consistency with every mouthful.

By Neil Ridley, Drinks Writer and Presenter on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch (@worldsbestspirits)

This is a secret but here’s a clue! 58.0245° N, 3.8661° W

Hogshead – Sherry Cask