In addition to the new beast-y trio of Travel Retail offerings from Highland Park distillery, there’s also a travel edition of a classic HP icon and staple – Highland Park 18 Year Old. This travel edition is using the same recipe for the standard 18 Year Old but is bottled at marrying strength and isn’t reduced further to 43%.
I reviewed the classic HP 18 Year Old back in 2015 then when I visited the distillery and it will be interesting to see how this new travel edition fares against it and against the 16 Year Old Wings of the Eagle.
Nose: Sweet honey, a bit of vanilla, dried berries and after a short while also nutmeg and cinnamon spices. Subtle smoke and charred oak (but less than Wings of the Eagle), lightly sugared preserved berries juice and citrus.
Palate: Spicy, white pepper, earthy peat, drying, honey, bonfire embers, subtle dried fruit, citrus peels bitterness, vanilla and sultanas.
Finish: Medium length, honeyed citrus, peat smoke, oak spice, vanilla, white pepper and quite drying.
Thoughts: As I said, both the standard HP 18 and Wings of the Eagle were on my mind when tasting it. With the Travel Edition there’s no doubt it’s a more intense and ‘spiced up’ version of a standard HP 18, just perhaps a bit less sherried but the similarity is undeniable. Since the Wings of the Eagle 16 Year Old is a fully sherried offering and presents a different flavors profile, it’s kinda hard to perform a straight comparison but I’ll state that both are great offerings and it all boils down to flavors profile personal preferences. If you ask me which single bottle should you pick at the airport from this line up, then my answer would be: Pick Wings of the Eagle at the airport and then get a standard HP 18 in the shop near your house because HP 18 should also be in your drinks cabinet.