The Nectar 15th Anniversary bottlings (Part 1)

Today we are starting our serie about the 15th Anniversary of The Nectar, a famous Belgian independent bottler and this selection seems to be very good, at least on paper, let’s try it directly in the glass now!

Secret Islay Distillery 14yo 2007-2021 (52.7%, Daily Dram, Montbazillac Cask, 15 years anniversary)

Colour: Copper with some delicate dark gold hues.
Nose: No alcohol presence. It’s dirty in the profile, there are a lot of aerial and very farmy peat, medicinal notes, lemons with also a nice wood smoke in the background.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is very good and the texture is very thick. Fresh grapes, grape skins, noble wood, wood bitterness, a lot of camphor, iodine, raw leather, farmy peat but also aerial and coastal peat.
Finish: Mid-Long. It’s starting with a lot of raw leather slowly decreasing, brine, iodine, sea salt and the final lingering notes are one more time the noble wood dryness and the grape skin bitterness.

A very austere, dry and bitter profile for what I think is a Laphie. I enjoyed it a lot and I have to say that I expected some very round profile regarding the Montbazillac cask but in fact it’s just the opposite, well done!

Score: 89

Arran 21yo 2000-2021 (52.2%, Daily Dram, 15 years anniversary)

Colour: Light gold.
Nose: No alcohol presence. it’s fresh, fruity and coastal. Fresh grape juice, white and yellow fruits, white paper, iodine, sea salt and hints of pineapples and passion fruits.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the texture is oily. It’s fruity at first with a mix of acidic and round notes. Ripe mangoes, fresh pineapples, passion fruits, white pepper, sea salt, iodine, a lot of chalk and earthy notes and some notes of sea water hitting rocks.
Finish: A lot of chalk, iodine, rock covered of sea water and just hints of fruits in the background.

A very round and mineral profile, very monolithic and simple when I was hoping for more complexity but hey, it’s still very effective!

Score: 88

Well, things are starting very well with those two drams. The Secret Islay is kind of a very good daily dram and this Arran, while being very good, lacks a bit of complexity to go higher in my ratings. Can’t wait to see what’s going next!

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