Review: Three Older Highland Park Bottlings

Back from Munich’s Finest Spirits Festival 2012 (thanks for the many nice conversations and the great time) – in full spirits. We had a wonderful weekend there and found many potential partners. I am going to review some festival finds in the coming days, but until then here are some reviews that I still had in the drawer.


Highland Park 1970 – 2010 OB ‚Orcadian Vintage‘ 48,0%

Comment: A lesson in roundness, all is perfectly integrated, a  quite creamy-sweet dram lead by brighter fruits (pear, apricot) and (dried) flowers, toffee, turkish delight, Grand Marnier, a whiff of mint and Fino Sherry. Darn good, but very expensive.

Score: 92+


Highland Park 1971 – 2011 OB ‚Orcadian Vintage‘ 46,7%

Comment: Altogether quite similar to the 1970 in profile, but this one is more on herbs and heather/honey. Again I am getting the apricot and all that candyfloss jazz to be smelled at county fairs. This 1971 has a nicer oak influence but is a bit less complex than its predecessor from 1970. Anyway, great stuff.

Score: 92+


Highland Park 25 y.o. OB, 1980 – 2005, Single Sherry Cask 7363 for Germany, 55,5%

Nose: Where to start? At espresso, nougat, the earthy spice, the army of dark fruits (morello cherries, dates, prunes), at polished oak or the maritime freshness? Mmh, let me just mention the single elements of this peacock’s tail of dark aromas. Hazelnuts, maritime freshness with a hint of peat, dry sherry, candyfloss and resin should not be forgotten therein. Wow!

Palate: Coffee bean in chocolate at first, then dark wood, tobacco and the Sherry-influence (dark dry fruit) take over, even with some sulphur of the good kind. All is dark and brooding in a full-on attack with spice. Water can (but doesn’t have to) be added, which brings out the fruit more.

Finish: Eternal! Tobacco and earthy peat meet dark wood and fruits. Like having a 100% chocolate with a fine Port.

Score: 91

Comment: This chewy and potent malt is not for beginners, really. It is like a powerful sports car that needs an experienced driver. Quite rare, that such a power house also has such high complexity. This amazing single cask HP-Sauce doesn’t fit every day, but if it does, it is a real stunner.

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