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Gordon & Macphail releases whiskies under their Secret Stills label, of which the distilleries are… err… secret. But this Lowland is clearly Auchentoshan, for the back label reveals that it is a triple distilled whisky, distilled at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills overlooking the River Clyde. It is a vatting (I should say blend) of two refill sherry hogsheads, numbers 2908 and 2911, distilled in October 1991 and bottled in February 2008.
Aside from quite a bit of citrus and the typical floral character of Auchentoshan, I also get dried apricots, sweet barley, raisins, marzipan and Cointreau. Very sweet and appealing.
It is a bit oily and spicy (cloves, cinnamon, white pepper) on the palate. Blood oranges and caramel take center stage. But it is also a bit spirity and rough, with a carton taste that brings it down a few notches.
The finish is very long and spicy with toffee at the last breath.
For a 17 year old sherry matured whisky, 40 EUR is anything but expensive. It is very good, but with a loose screw, if you take my meaning.