ABV: 57.6% Distillery: Highland Park Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Region: Islands
Refill ex-bourbon Highland Park – this one clocking in at 13 years of age. Oily & Coastal profile.
Nose: A touch shy for a few minutes, then opening nicely – an interesting combination of coastal, vegetal and bakery. Very light (less than in most HPs) heathery smoke and salty sea air comes together with mosses, lichen, and boiled vegetables. Sweetness is derived via rolled puff pastry and a smattering of oven-baked, honey-coated buns. Water adds doughnuts (of the un-iced plain ring variety), a greater prevalence of salt and further interesting savoury motes.
Taste: A much bolder arrival than the nose would suggest – packed full of salinity, rockpools, and grapefruit sharpness. Rolling in from the sea is further salinity (salted caramel – yummers) and light tar. In the mid palate, the savouriness detected on the nose is given more shape – seafood – a full Fruits de Mer. In the background, earthiness – wet soils and forest mosses. The back palate doesn’t deliver any new flavours, however it does become increasingly drying – as if the sea is withdrawing for low tide. Reduced, were in an SMWS favourite – cocktails – margaritas this time with tangy lime and licks of salt.
Finish: Medium, salty/briney and still a touch vegetal/savoury.
A highly coastal Highland Park – correctly put into the right SMWS flavour profile – there’s smoke here, but its seriously downplayed compared to the maritime assault on the senses that this whisky provides. Crisp, fresh, balanced and with some punchy flavour on the palate. A very tasted ex-bourbon cask indeed. Recommended.
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