Highland Park has embarked on a new series since October last year. 14 (and counting) single casks were released in the new Single Cask Series (so far), and all of them were directed into very specific markets: shops and airport exclusives and one cask was even bottled for the biggest Highland Park Facebook fan group called Highland Park Appreciation Society (or HPAS as it’s widely known among its members).
I was looking into acquiring a bottle when it got released but getting one was deemed too complicated with no direct shipping route from the shop to me. Thankfully, some HPAS members were sharing their bottles so I managed to get a sample (thanks Peter!).
All those single casks carry age statement of 12 to 14 year old, with prices hovering around 150 (for most of them) and the HPAS single cask is a 13 year old with 576 bottles released from the sherry butt to the faithful members of HPAS, although you can find some bottles on auction sites.
Highland Park 2003 13 Year Old Single Cask #2115 HPAS (59.1%)
Nose: Big dirty sherry HP bomb. Let’s see…there’s peat, gentle smoke, floral & heather flowers, a big sulphur impact with TONS of struck matches and a bit of rubber. dust and a bowl of sweet/sour dried and fresh red berries.
Palate: Ah a bit better here, sweet dried fruit, smoke, white pepper, again a noticeable sulphur impact with struck matches (but less so than the nose), coffee grounds, gentle peat, baking spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and oak spices.
Finish: Medium length finish with lingering fresh oak spices, sweet dried fruit, coffee and, right, struck matches
Thoughts: Well, this bottle should carry a “Sulphur Alert” sticker. It could have a been a good bottle but I just can’t get around that strong struck matches note here and trust me, I’m not sensitive to sulphur as some other people are. So I feel that this bottling could have been good (leaving pricing issues aside), but the Sulphur simply throws it out of balance.