Cley – Secret Campbeltown

What an eeriely delicious collection of treats for halloween this year! But one might wonder… what could be the trick? The fact is that there was once a sample of a bottle that has only just been released… and a picture of this Cley Secret Campbeltown was still missing from my collection.

Alas, I thought, I’ll have to postpone my review until I get my hands on a bottle… but fear not. ‘Tis All Hallows Eve after all. And because of that, I think, that just this once, I can get away with just a spookily good picture of my Trick or Treat setup for the night.

This Secret Campbeltown by Cley has long since been consumed, but my tasting notes remain as fresh as the day of the samplebottle kill…..

Tasting notes: Cley – Secret Campbeltown Cask

ABV: 53% (106 proof)
Age: 4,5 years old
Distillery: Cley
Category: Dutch Single Malt Whisky
Chill-filtered: No
Natural Colour: Yes


A sweetness reminiscent of cotton candy, icing and wine hard candy combines with a hint of garden soil, clay and fruit. In terms of fruit, I’m finding lychees, wild peaches and blue grapes. Very complex and beautifully balanced. A touch of vanilla rounds it all off.


While there was only a hint of vanilla on the nose, it is the first thing I notice on the palette. Followed by a mild pepper. Here too there is plenty of fruit to be found, cherries predominate, but bananas and nectarines can also be distinguished. Icing sugar, dark chocolate and a little straw completes the picture.


This whisky has a medium long aftertaste and is pleasantly mild. There are hardly any tannins to be found and instead red fruit makes way for apples and even a hint of pear. The aftertaste even reminds me somewhat of a nice dry wine.


I really enjoyed this Cley Secret Campbeltown. The young age is barely noticeable and the flavors are beautifully balanced from start to finish. What I especially liked about it is how the taste experience transforms from nose to finish. Every step has its own surprises in store and I really appreciate that in a whisky. The combination of barrel and Cley spirit turns out to be a hit!

Unlike with Islay barrels, I wouldn’t have guessed the use of a Campeltown cask here. There is certainly a bit of Campbeltown Funk to be discovered on the nose (perhaps partly because I was specifically looking for it), but I no longer find this on the palette and in the aftertaste. Nevertheless, the barrel has had a wonderful effect on the whisky. This is a gem!



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