Since the not really complementary review of the Voyage of the Raven was the only HP review I posted here, I figured I needed to upload more of my older HP reviews to make up for that as I actually like the distillery quite a bit. Again, this one is more than a year old.
Highland Park | 18 | 18 yo | 43% | Bourbon and Sherry Casks |CF, NCA
Situation: So, I wanted to drink this already a couple of days ago, when it seemed like everyone was having HP18 blind or knowingly and everyone kinda liked to loved it. Now, that I’m late to the party it seems so two days ago. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy to sit on my mom’s patio and having a drink. One of the upsides of temporarily moving in with her is a nice patio with an outside fireplace and a very nice view over the woods. I guess the downsides are quite obvious. Don’t feel too sorry, we’re having some renovations done at our house and wife, kid and dog followed me over here. If you want to feel sorry for me then mostly for me being too lazy to light up said outside fireplace and a little less for that I don’t have any lights out here so I cannot type older reviews (as I can’t read my notes). Another upside though created by this is, I have to write new ones. I guess every yin has its yang. And this y4ni has had this Yighland Park before. But, to be honest here, I have had quite a bit to drink before I had it before. All times. A nice pub in my town carries it for a reasonable price and since not many customers drink it, you usually get a big pour. And it’s quite nice. I think. They also have the usual Ardbegs and Laphroaigs but at the stage we were, we were looking for something a tad bit less in your face than these eastern Ileachs. So my memory of it might not be very helpful. Funny though. Anyway, I’m too lazy to look anything up and just want to enjoy a nice barely moonlight night on the patio and hunt-and-pecking in my notes as they enter my mind and then my fingers. So it might not be my most precise review. But then again, which one ever is?
Nose: Ah nice, good to drink scotch again! Plums, coconut flakes, red ripe grapes, a bit of wet cardboard-like peat, dark fruit marmalade you know that thick sweet kind. Yummi. I am too lazy too look up casks but iirc it’s sherry and bourbon, right? The sherry influence clearly shows and dominates the nose but there are hints of bourbon casks as well, presenting itself in a dusty nutmeg note.
Palate: A bit of a light entry, a wee bit watery but still a nice creamy mouthfeel, some smoke right away but not very aggressive/dominant it just sets the tone for the rest of the flavours to lay on. Hazelnuts, a sea salt / coast-y note, vanilla, caramel rather then toffee, oaky but not too much quite the right amount to give it some edges and dryness,
Finish: Here the smoke is more present. Very nice finish. Smoke, old leather, a bit of salt, some nuts, dry oak, hints of coffee and dark chocolate as the finish finishes. But sadly only hints, damn, it feels like this would be much better with a little more abv. Wait, that’s a whisky nerds common place. Forget that. You knew that once you read the abv above. Still.
Conclusion: Very nice indeed and I guess I would buy a bottle. However, it’s a wee bit too smooth for me to give it an A. For me the palate falls a bit flat, but I guess that is because of the outside temperature hence the flavors cannot fully bloom and shine. I guess higher abv would push it above B+ even on this (rather cold by now) patio. Looking forward to finish that sample bottle inside next time and I’m tempted to grab a bottle, especially if my feeling that it’s more powerful a few degrees warmer…