First, I haven’t had the chance to maintain my whiskey blog for a while, and what would be better than pulling another release from Dràm Mòr out of my sleeve? Tonight’s pick is the 13-year-old Secret Orkney, a golden beauty of a dram.
It has matured in a first-fill Fijian Rum Cask for ten years and was then bottled at 54.6 %, yielding 321 bottles. It is available to purchase from select locations.
The nose on this whisky is so enticing to me, and I am having a hard time putting down the glass. For some odd reason, I am always getting this slightly yeasty note from any rum finish I taste, and this one is no exception. It is not unpleasant, just a yeasty note. I also get ripe pineapple, juicy pears, peaches, sultanas, dry hay, wood polish, woodshop, fresh wood shavings, damp leather upon first nosing it.
After a good 30 minutes in the glass, the hay, wood elements, and damp leather notes disappear, leaving just the tropical characteristics, the peaches and the golden honey. It is a true delight, absolutely benefiting from being left to breathe in the glass.
Several of the notes I was getting of the nose reappears on the palate. I get that ripe, maybe even roasted pineapple, juicy pears, the sultanas, a light-handed drizzle of honey, finished off with the perfect amount of soft and gentle smoke.
Now, it has been a good while since I last had a dram of whisky. It might be influencing my perception of the alcohol strength, but it is pretty warming, almost a little prickly in the throat. I almost want to say that it is a little rough around the edges. And the element of smoke in this Secret Orkney? Precisely what it needs!
The finish on this Secret Orkney is heavy with those tropical pineapple notes, noticeable chilli spice with a decent length.
Even though rum finishes are typically not one of the finishes I would reach for, this one is one of the better ones I have tasted so far. I often get notes of overly ripe tropical fruits (pineapple, bananas) and the yeasty note I already mentioned, and from a personal point of view, sherry finishes always win. However, rum was the spirit that got me into drinking whisk(e)y in the first place, so I guess this is a testament to why I should try more rum finishes in the future.
First-fill Fijian Rum Cask
ABV: 54.6 %
Dràm Mòr Group Ltd. are family Scotch single cask whisky bottlers, choosing individual casks to showcase the best of every Scottish whisky, originating from the once highly influential town of Dumbarton, which rests in the shadow of its iconic Rock, Dumbarton’s medieval Castle, an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, and which boasts such whisky legacy as Ballantine’s and is home to Pernod Ricard’s Chivas.
A huge thanks to Dràm Mòr for kindly sending me this sample.
Tasting notes and opinions about this release are strictly my own.