They say that an undisclosed sherried Speyside malt is likely to be a Glenfarclas but I have no idea if that’s true in this case (or in most cases). It’s the kind of thing that’s in the interest of bottlers to have people believe (just as every undisclosed peated Islay is said to likely be a Lagavulin). As far as I know there’s no rule saying that a bottler has to disclose the name of a distillery and so someone who had their hands on a nice cask from a distillery with a poor reputation might well benefit by taking the name off the label and letting buyers fill in whatever they’d like to think it is. I’m not saying that I suspect that’s what’s happening here. My point is merely that I have no idea what distillery this is from. I do know that it’s rather nice. I first opened this bottle for one of my local group’s tastings a couple of months ago. It didn’t actually fare so very well that night but it’s come on strong as the bottle has stayed open. And now that I’m past the halfway mark I’m very sorry to see its imminent demise.
Undisclosed Speyside 20, 1994 (53.2%; sherry butt; Whisky Fässle; from my own bottle)
Nose: Polished wood, leather and then quite a bit of orange (fruit and peel) with some apricot and pineapple mixed in as well; much “brighter” than the dark colour might lead you to expect. The fruit gets more intense as it sits and the tropical notes expand a bit. Fruitier still with water and the fruit is more tropical in nature.
Palate: Very much as promised by the nose: leads with the wood, verging on the bitter, before the citrus comes in strong and then a tropical burst as it heads to the finish (some mango here along with the pineapple). The bitter oak is more present on the second sip but it’s not off-putting. The mouthfeel is just a bit too thin. With time there’s a bit of mocha too but the bitter note does also turn a bit metallic. With water the metallic notes recede but the texture doesn’t improve.
Finish: Medium. All about the tropical fruit here before the wood returns again at the very end. Water pushes back the wood.
Comments: This is really quite nice and it seems to have gotten fruitier still in the second half of the bottle. The nose is really very good; only the thin mouthfeel and the metallic turn on the palate hold it back, though water improves it on one of those fronts.
Rating: 88 points.