Saturday, March 8, 2014

Great Expectations - Highland Park 18yo

Highland Park 18yo
We all know Highland Park as the northern most distillery in Scotland, located within the Orkney Isles. At the time of writing, the distillery is owned by The Edrington Group, which also boasts The Macallan single malt distillery and blends such as The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.

I bought this whisky after accumulating some in-store credit with a particular bottle shop here in Australia. I had previously tasted the whisky and choose it on the basis of my fond memories (as well as an underwhelming range of whisky in store). Whether it was my over-reaching expectations (admittedly it was a very long time ago when I tried this expression and I have tasted a lot more whisky since then), but I found the experience a little disappointing. I am not really sure what I was expecting, but this is what I found…

Nose: the Sherry influence hits immediately, dried fruit, Christmas cake, orange liquor, vanilla, maybe some cinnamon and oak. Your nostrils don't take a beating with this whisky so dig your nose in deep. The smoke is very subtle, almost undetectable. You can sense the whisky is delicate.

Taste: very supple and soft as the Sherry flavours form immediately. In the back and sides of your mouth you feel a salty citrus bite that almost feels youthful, but is probably the peaty-iodine influence. It is somewhat contradictory to the Sherry flavours dominating the front of the mouth. I wouldn’t say this whisky is short, but not sure I would say it is long either. Its age obviously makes it a very smooth dram...I am thinking you could drink a lot of this (responsibly of course)!

Overall, the Highland Park 18yo is incredibly delicate given its age and Sherry finish, making it incredibly easy to drink. If I was to give a dram then I would rate it a subjective 5.5 from a possible seven. Would I buy it again? Probably not. For the price I would be looking for something bolder and more interesting, but that's just me. You should try it and form you own opinions!

Keep dramin,
The Diplomat