Saturday, 31 March 2012

Whisky Discovery #66

Highland Park 18 Year Old (43% abv OB Bottled 2012)
Island Single Malt Whisky
Circa £58 70cl

Tweet Tasting HP18
First released in 1997, Highland Park immediately found favour with whisky writers and enthusiasts all over the world. It is a perfectly balanced single malt with a toffee sweetness and a mouthwateringly smokey finish.

It was awarded the ultimate accolade in 2005 and again in 2009, when US spirits writer F. Paul Pacult named it "Best Spirit in the World". He states; "After 25 years' experience, it fits my profile of what makes a perfect whisky, which is to say it's totally in harmony, there are no rough edges and everything is melded together brilliantly." 

This expression definitely figured as a particular favourite of the Tweet Tasters being listed as a malt to give anyone who say they don't like whisky and another stated that it was one of their all time favourites, so I was really looking forward to this. My favourite quote regarding the HP18 came from @galg who tweeted to me "@WhiskyDiscovery hey Dave, first time 18. What a moment. cherish this. your life will not be the same."

So what did I think? 

Colour: A burnished gold, clear and bright (and natural so I was informed)

Nose: Soft dried fruit, butter shortbread, with rich sherry, mature oak, and a light aromatic smoke. I added a droplet of water from the straw which immediately released the floral notes - stunning!

Palate: Rich yet very smooth, heather honey sweetness and some sharp peat notes and a little spice.

Finish: Soft, round and long with a light smokey aftertaste

Wow! The Highland Park 18 Year Old is one of four Highland Park's listed in Ian Buxton's great book, 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die. This is definitely a quality dram and I think it was my favourite of the evening's tastings.

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