If you look just at their age-statement core range, Highland Park has great balance overall. We loved them when we were early in our whisky journey, and we won’t say no to a dram of the 12yo. Would we still buy a bottle of the 12 or 18? Not anymore, but some expressions still have my interest. Valkyrie and Dark Origins are now on my shelf and I’m enjoying them.
When I came across this 15yo single cask (from a first fill sherry butt) at a store, I wasn’t immediately sold. But I was offered a dram and couldn’t say no anymore. Not a very soft and balanced first encounter, but a pretty strong one instead, no real surprise, the ABV is 58.2%. It needs some taming, but the finish goed on and on:
Red fruits, raisins, old wood and leather at first. A bit dry and musty too, with fatty oils, but then there’s another wave of blackberries, raspberries and apple syrup.
Full and dark, with raisin bread, blackberries, wood and just a whiff of smoke.
Pretty dry, needs some water to open up the raisins, cake, honey and licorice. A hint of tobacco and fireplace smoke, a bit of dung (sorry for that) and a nice fruity layer of apricot and candy.
For a Highland Park, it’s a fairly challenging dram, adding water is key. But we like that from time to time. The 180 euro price tag is a bit steep though, to be completely honest with you: I wouldn’t buy it for that price again if I could reconsider my choice. But as far as the taste is concerned: a pretty solid dram.