Catching up with the last two new releases from Roger’s Whisky Company. This Dutch bottler is making good progress and is gaining quite a bit of popularity. In the meantime, he has already released a few lovely whiskies, and this time he chose not to bottle the most obvious brands, and I think that’s rather nice.

Let’s start with the Secret Speyside, which may not be that secret after all… Have you looked closely at the label? And does it look familiar to you? Yes, that’s the Glenfarclas Distillery. Unique because you don’t see it bottled by independent bottlers that often. Or, well, not that we know anyway. Because Secret Speysiders are, of course, released with some regularity.

This single malt spent its entire 13 years in an ex-bourbon cask (not something you often see at Glenfarclas either), before being bottled at a strength of 52.3% ABV.

Secret Speyside 13 year old tasting notes:

Nose: cookie dough mixed with fresh lemon juice. Pears. Some vanilla custard and a touch of oats. A hint of grass. Then it somehow reminds me of apple strudel. Later also oranges, followed by almonds.

Taste: vanilla and lemons at first. Tea biscuits, oats. A hint of caramel. Pears and apples. Sweet grapefruit and a hint of green grapes. Then there is a bit of white pepper and ginger.

Finish: mid-long with vanilla, oranges, marzipan and a touch of white pepper.

Despite being 13 years old, it still feels a bit young in some respects and misses a little bit of oomph. But all in all, it’s a nice whisky that will certainly work well with the warm weather.

Score: 85/100


Now, on to the second, a 12 year old Aultmore. And that’s a brand I haven’t tasted much of yet, so it’s nice that Roger bottled it. It’s always great to taste something new, especially if it’s something I’m not that familiar with yet. So I’m curious how this one will be!

This one has also matured in an ex-bourbon cask, but the cask strength is significantly higher, namely 63.5% ABV.

Aultmore 12 year old tasting notes:

Nose: rather fresh this one. I kind of get a hint of mezcal or something, haha. Then I get green apples and gooseberries, followed by lime. Later also some vanilla and mint too.

Taste: creamy at first, with soft vanilla and oatmeal. But then the alcohol kicks in quite fast. There is plenty of white pepper now but I still get some of the fruits in the background: green apples and green grapes. Water makes it creamier and fruitier, adding a hint of lemons and a sweet honey note.

Finish: short to mid-long, with notes of that same sweet honey and the green apples and grapes.

It is somewhat drying in the taste and finish. But this one is very high in ABV, and that is noticeable. Adding water does not make much better, although the white pepper heat is a bit in the background. Not a bad whisky, it’s just a bit harsh sometimes, especially on the palate. And like the Speysider it feels a bit young somehow.

SCORE: 83/100

Samples provided by Roger’s Whisky Company