Secret Orkney 1999 MBl

"Another great true spirit coming from HP, which shows a little bit more complexity and power compared the the one from the Archives and very much recommendable."

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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As I wrote in the previous review, which also involved a secret Orkney Distillery (with a very strong suspicion of HP), the naked spirit of this distillery really surprised me with its quality. Today we have another of those secret bottlings from Orkney, this time from Medowside Blending’s The Maltman. A very recommendable series of single cask bottlings by the way, although probably not that well-known, with beautiful looking bottles with in most cases an excellent content. I am very curious if we will find more of that true spirit of HP.

Nose

Directly a sense of a very light smokiness, accompanied by a dampened freshness. This feels very much like walking on a misted morning between the meadows. As we found in the previous bottling, there is a slightly rubbery scent, but not very discomforting. Reminds of a new garden hose. Very soon the minerals and chalk take over. Wet stones after a heavy rain shower. Again this is very nice. It tends to become more and more mineral, maybe even singular, with a whole array of minerals, wet woodlands. Straight like an arrow, with some minimal mineral nuances. Virtually no cask influence is noticeable. After a while some surprising hints of cassis wine gums come forward, together with overripe apples, and distant fresh lemons. It become more and more fruity, blueberry sauce and finally a hint of leather shoes. Very good!

Taste

A well balanced arrival with the expected chalk, wet stones, and sand turning into mud (it started to rain now). Like the nose very mineral, with again a very subtle smokiness, at perfect strength and with long aftertaste. In particular the smoke lingers, reminiscent of distant bonfires. The palate also shows more of a maritime side, with a salt and hints of smoked mackerel. There is paraffin, tiger balm and wax in the aftertaste, accompanied by sea spray, a few drops of lemon juice, and after a while, lemon skin. This makes it fresher, maybe even slightly sour. It is also slightly musty and I find more fruits in the (blueberries and blackberries) in the background of the finish. Long finish, but slightly weird.

Overall

Yes, we stumbled upon another great naked HP. Great complexity, development, albeit with a slightly wobbly finish. Very well selected by the people at Meadowside Blending. I think I have to start looking for more HPs, maybe even among the myriad of Viking-inspired releases from the distillery.

What others say

Whiskybase: 86.72 (20 votes) *
Read for yourself

A sample of this was tasted during the

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
30%
Peat/smoke
15%
Nose 87.5%
Taste 88%
Balance 86.5%
Depth 87%
Finish 87%
Score