Secret Stills (Gordon & MacPhail)
Gordon & MacPhail Secret Stills Highland 1988 6.5 (bottled 2011) 45% 70cl
'Secret Stills' was a range of bottlings highlighting the seperate Scotch whisky regions from Gordon & MacPhail, where the distillery from which the new make spirit had originally been sourced from was not divulged. However, in some cases it was bloody obvious at the time - 'an unnamed distillery on the Isle of Skye? Well there's only one, so...' - but outwith that subtle 'clues' were given on the back label and in promo material that made it pretty obvious where the source was.
In the case of this Highland bottling, the back label reads 'A special bottling from a distillery founded in 1797 in the small Highland village Oldmeldrum'. A quick Google Map search for this village (20 miles North of Aberdeen) shows a single distillery in the area, which funnily enough was founded in 1797 - indeed, the core bottling for Glen Garioch (pronounced Glen Geer-ree) in named the 1797.
So this was the fifth release in the Secret Still series for the Highland region of just 280 bottles from a single first-fill American oak Sherry hogshead, distilled in December 1998 and cared for by G&M until it was bottled in September 2011 as an 12yo. The official tasting notes states 'vanilla and hints of toasted malt' - I've never had the chance to try this myself, so you'll have to take those notes as you want to!The bottle and tube are in pristine condition - and if you're interested I also have the Release #1 which is a run of 1180 bottles from 3 refill hogsheads bottled in 2007.
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