Review: A 21 y.o. Highland Park from a New Bottler (The First Editions)

At the Finest Spirits Fair in Munich 2012, I found a new independent bottler I hadn’t come across yet: The First Editions. It is imported to Germany by the very nice Sondheims, and the friendly Scottish partner Andrew Laing (Stewart Laing’s son – from the famous Douglas Laing brand – Andrew is the head of this project) was there as well, who let me try an excellent Tomintoul from 1967 (to be reviewed soon). Check out their range here. Today, I am going to review Andrew’s recent Highland Park:


Highland Park 21 y.o. First Editions 1989, 50,9%

Comment: A round and powerful first impression with lead aromas of crystallized oranges and orange peel, fudge toffee, vanilla, discrete peat smoke, honey, white chocolate and dry malt. In the second row there are glazed doughnuts and candy floss, dusty bookshelves, leather, white pepper, ginger and peat bog notes. The fruity elements (aside from the oranges) consist of canned peaches, red currant and apple crumble. Complex, I’d say. This ‚HP sauce‘ tastes dry and malty on the mid-palate at first, then warming spices and dried fruits (mainly apples) lead into a very well-rounded finish with a mix of the aromas mentioned above. However, it is less impressive than its nose suggested – give this some time. A really good daily dram for allround purposes.

Score: 87

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