Saturday, 31 March 2012

Whisky Discovery #67

Highland Park 25 Year Old (48.1% abv OB Bottled 2012)
Island Single Malt Whisky
Circa £135 70cl

Tweet Tasting HP25
First released in 1998, Highland Park 25 Years Old is a phenomenal whisky; it has a rich amber glow and an unmistakable taste of smokiness and heather honey with, as you would expect from Highland Park, a hint of peat.

The lowest strength of the Highland Park 25 olds, this bottling is amongst their finest, with as much balance as a blindfolded tightrope walker on dental floss. Lovely heather honey character. The full side bottle comes in a hinged presentation box

The remarkable complexity of this whisky is due in part to the fact that half of it is matured in first fill Sherry casks. These are very expensive and generally used sparingly in the industry. However, they impart maximum flavour; Highland Park 25 Year Old proves it.

Another popular dram from the evenings tweet tasting and some wonderful descriptive narrative from some of the tasters, my particular favourite of the evening "wandering through a pine tree forest after a rain, eating a honeyed plum in the sun & smoking a cigar" from @themisswhisky

So what did I think?

Colour: Dark ruddy golden, clear and bright, and natural colour

Nose: Very rich and more pungent that the earlier 12 and 18 year olds. Smokey vanilla bourbon notes, old polished wood, more thick honey and nutty toffee. I started getting a light whiff of a quality pipe smoke towards the end.

Palate: The palate is full with a rich burst of flavour; soft honey; nutty toffee. Again I added a drop of water from my straw and the vanilla of the bourbon casks came out immediately.

Finish: Rich, warm and surprisingly sweet, yet gently smoky that goes on and on.

A lovely whisky, slightly above my normal price range but certainly worth considering if I'm feeling a little flush! The HP25 won the best empty glass nose during the evening for me too.

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