Google New Highland Park The Dark and others

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

February 5, 2018


New Highland Park The Dark and others

Some coming undisclosed, which means that they could as well be Scapas. In theory…

Highland Park 17 yo ‘The Dark’ (52.9%, OB, 28,000 bottles, 2018)

Highland Park 17 yo ‘The Dark’ (52.9%, OB, 28,000 bottles, 2018) Two stars and a half
Integrally ex-European oak sherry seasoned casks, this baby comes with a story long like an arm. I’ll simply tell you that it’s a brand new expression. Colour: gold. Nose: starts a tad hot and pretty gingery, so well in line with what’s to be expected from these kinds of bespoke casks (as I could check last time I was in Jerez). Sawdust, pencil shavings (including leads), then a mentholy side (embrocations) and wee whiffs of yellow curry powder. Noses very modern this far. With water: some wood smoke, barbecue, burning pine needles and cones… Mouth (neat): same feeling, there’s a rather huge pine-y arrival, with quite a lot of ginger again, cinnamon mints, sawdust, caraway, nutmeg, bitter oranges… Feels a bit ‘flavoured’ rather than ‘matured’, I have to say. With water: same feeling, with a lot of oak extraction, bitter oranges, and cumin. Finish: long, spicy, oak-forward. Peppermint, green pepper, nutmeg. Nicer touches of grapefruits in the aftertaste. Comments: the casks’ part was rather too big for my taste, but it’s a very fine drop for sure – should you like them oak-driven. I'm totally sure I'll like its coming sibling 'The Light' better...
SGP:361 - 79 points.

Let’s find one that should be rather more distillate-driven…

Highland Park 2005/2014 (56.6%, Gordon & MacPhail, Cask Strength, first fill bourbon barrels, casks #2823, 2824, 2825)

Highland Park 2005/2014 (56.6%, Gordon & MacPhail, Cask Strength, first fill bourbon barrels, casks #2823, 2824, 2825) Four stars and a half
Colour: white wine. Phew! Nose: granted, there is a little sawdust and vanilla, but also some better detailed Highland-Parky notes, limestone, coal smoke, garden peat, moss, broken branches, lemon rinds, autumn leaves… You see… With water: naked and natural. Sharp, grassy, mineral, and yet deep and profound. Very nice medicinal touches, Band-Aid, mercurochrome, half a drop of tincture of iodine… Mouth (neat): perfect young HP, zesty, angular, very lemony, slightly peppery, and certainly very mineral, what I sometimes call ‘sauvignony’ (you’re afraid of nothing, S.) With water: the best part! Lovely lemon curd, quinine, chalk, a hint of salty wakame… Finish: pretty long, pleasantly sharp, and certainly quite coastal. Some mineral oils in the aftertaste, salted lemon juice... (no Margarita though). Comments: that’s more my kind of spirit. Question of the days, haven’t the indies become the actual guardians of the distilleries’ styles? Discuss freely with your friends…
SGP:462 - 88 points.

Orkney 15 yo 2002/2017 (58.7%, Archives, refill hogshead, 270 bottles)

Orkney 15 yo 2002/2017 (58.7%, Archives, refill hogshead, 270 bottles) Four stars
So, perhaps HP? Stromness? (yeah yeah…) Colour: gold. Nose: not smoky enough for Stromness. Ha. But the G&M isn’t too far away, styles are similar, grassy and mineral, perhaps a tad more buttery this time, with more hay as well, notes of ale, leaven… So a little more fermentary (but not feinty, not at all), and more austere, perhaps because of the refill wood. With water: gets very chalky. Aspirin tablets in Perrier plus fresh asparagus. Mouth (neat): really punchy, rough in a good way, grassy, gritty, lemony… Exactly the kind of malt that goes well in a hipflask before you go to the country. With water: sweeter and a tad rounder, and more citrusy for sure. Lemon drops and a drop of tequila. Finish: rather long, with a little more wax and chalk. Comments: reminds me of one of those strangely shaped HPs from two years ago. One of the Norse gods aboard longships, remember? The greener one, I think, the one that did give quite a few interior designers heart attacks…
SGP:362 - 87 points.

Orkney 13 yo 2004/2017 (50.5%, Whisky-Fässle, sherry cask)

Orkney 13 yo 2004/2017 (50.5%, Whisky-Fässle, sherry cask) Four stars and a half
What’s happening? Have HP just started to forbid the use of their brand name? Or just one or two parcels of casks that came with ‘anonymous’ papers? Colour: straw. Nose: a tad softer, with added notes of green bananas. Other than that, it’s a perfect HP, with everything you need, chalk, lemons, mineral oils, seaweed… We won’t even add any water, which is contrary to WF’s rules as soon as the 50% vol. were reached, but there… Mouth: splendid purity, sharpness, smoke, chalk, lemons, seaweed, graphite oil, green apples and bananas, cough drops… Finish: long and wonderfully green and mineral, with a fruity coating. Peppery/fizzy aftertaste, as if you had just downed one litre of tonic water. Something more medicinal as well. That’s fun. Comments: what a distillate! One of the greatest in Scotland.
SGP:462 - 89 points.

(Et merci, Fabien!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Highland Park I've tasted so far






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