Single cask whisky is by its very nature idiosyncratic - each stave in each cask impacting on the development of a liquid which will be entirely unique and entirely finite. Over the course of 2016/17, Highland Park have had a brief sojourn away from tales of Viking derring-do to produce a range of Single Cask bottlings for Northern European markets.
There has been 14 bottles in the Highland Park Single Cask series to date, all released with a particular market in mind. Being, in effect a series, all of these are to some extent are collectible (some more than others) - a bit of a shame perhaps as all of the bottlings I've tried so far have been wonderfully expressive examples of Highland Park in an unadulterated form. However, caprice of the market, and people’s odd apocalyptic collecting aside, Highland Park should be applauded for their continued investment in releases designed to specifically satisfy dedicated enthusiasts.
Nose: Molasses, toffee and chocolate come together in a rich, sweet and inviting nose. Behind the scenes we’ve got a light, but sharp flinty seashell note and some slightly dusty raisins. Water brings out the sweeter aromas even further and at 59.1% you’ve got some leeway with your pipette here.
Taste: A woody and rich arrival with great development. Vanillins, concentrated grape juice with notes of damp soil, wine, heavy rancio (you might say 'struck match') and even a hint of chilli pepper. Water reduces the influence of the more earthy flavours and takes the spiciness up a notch, emphasising salts and peppers. Clearly well-seasoned this cask.
Finish: Long, earthy and peppery
Jesper and Martin have selected a cracking cask for HPAS members. High impact, deep and hugely characterful – this is just what the devoted members of the Appreciation Society deserve. Alas, sold out pretty much on impact, but if you get the chance to try this single cask, don't pass it up. Maybe try asking HPAS members - they're a lovely bunch.