Tag Archives: Highland Park

Highland Park 1999 16 Year Old Cask #4260 (TWE Exclusive) Review

Official bottlings from Highland Park usually carry a trademarked profile of heather peat, spice and sherry notes to some degree, depends on the exact mix of casks in the release. But when you go the indie and single cask route it’s a different game.

Take for example the new Highland Park 16 that G&M has bottled exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. A single cask bottling from a first fill American oak barrel with a lot of sweetness and not a single trace of sherry, delivering a whisky with a twist on the familiar Highland Park profile.

Highland Park 1999 16 Year Old Cask #4260 (56.6%, £79.95)

highland park 1999 G&M cask strength for TWENose: Fruity (mainly pears) and very creamy with sweet vanilla and honey. Slowly some hints of spices show up and there’s almost no peat here. I guess it’s subdued by active cask. Very rounded and solid nose. With a few drops of water we get fresh lemon and it’s spicier yet still very creamy and a lot of vanilla (almost lactic feeling). Continue reading

Whisky Review: Cadenhead Highland Park 22 Year Old Sherry Cask (BTC 2015 Day 5)

Captain Log, Day 5: After I managed to scrape off 20 points yesterday for correct region, I hope to build upon it and maybe even have a successful day with a high score. This dram felt like a high proof young dram, but the region and distillery alluded me. I was torn between three optoins: a SMWS bottling from a Speyside distillery, a young Bladnoch from The whisky broker or maybe some weird Islands bottling (Arran or HP). Eventually I went for the Lowlands route. Not sure if it was the smart decision.

Update: Ugh 😦 I was so far off the mark and even high ABV guess was off and so, another zero pointer. I just can’t stop shaking my head at this weird dram. A 22 yo Highland Park that was distilled in 1992 and bottled December 2014 – it didn’t feel like a Highland park at all nor a sherry cask.

Cadenhead Highland Park 22 Year Old Sherry Cask (59.6%, 234 bottles, ~€173)

cadenhead highland park 22 wood series sherry caskNose: Freshly cut grass, sweet honey with sour edge, nutty, white pepper, limestone and chalk. with time: flowers and perfume, red fruit, stronger limestone/chalk. With water: fruitier, a lot of citrus and a tad more perfume.
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Whisky Tour – Highland Park Distillery

The second day in this Scotland excursion wasn’t like the first day at all. We weren’t late and it had a very Scottish weather, gray and rainy just like what I wanted, although all the natives were longing for another day like yesterday full of sunshine. But we were going to Orkney and visit the northernmost distilleries in Scotland so IMHO it was the fitting weather 🙂

ferry is waitingAfter the sea cross, a bus to Kirkwall, visiting the Orkney museum (A must!), our ride arrived:

pickup to the tour in style

Yes, if you booked a high-end tour, they will happily pick you up from different places around Kirkwall and bring you to the distillery just in time for the tour.

welcome to hp

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Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Highland Park 30 year old 48.1% (previous batch)

I was told yesterday that I don’t have enough Highland park reviews on the site. I took a look and found out that’s correct – except the recently released Dark Origins there are no reviews of the Highland Park core range (unless you call Einer a core range expression…)

There are also other distilleries which are under-reviewed on the blog (and I hope to fix that sooner than later) but first thing first, lets have another Highland Park official bottling review and we’ll aim high with Highland Park 30.

Highland Park 30 was at the top of HP core range until the 40yo was released and there are at least two batches released: the latest one was released in 2013 and is bottled at 45.7% (you can get it at The Whisky Exchange for £385) and the earlier batches who were bottled at 48.1% (still available at the distillery online shop) which I review here thanks to a sample sent to me from Johnnie Stumbler of The Nosing Arse blog.

Highland Park 30 (48.1%, £400)

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Whisky Review & Tasting Notes – Highland Park Dark Origins

So what happens when a distillery releases another pricey NAS whisky? One that you could imagine as competition and maybe future replacement? For most distilleries or bottlers, we’ll explode with rage and angry words but in the case of Highland Park distillery it was met with curiosity and very little anger. We shouldn’t forget that HP aren’t strangers to expensive and pricey NAS whiskies, as evident from their high-end Warriors whiskies so maybe this is why Dark Origins wasn’t receiving such a harsh treatment as others did?

Or maybe because Dark Origins fills another niche in their core portfolio, allowing them to sell (and earn) more?

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Whisky News: Old Pulteney 35 yo, Highland Park Dark Origins, Glenfiddich Excellence 26 and Bowmore Tempest V

Been a while since I collected news on new releases, but in the last 2 weeks there were a couple of important whisky news, so here they are.

Also, did you check my little giveaway? Rules are simple and you may win a whisky bottle!

Old Pulteney Launches Limited Edition 35 Year Old Single Malt

Old Pulteney 35 yoMulti award-winning Old Pulteney Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has added a new, exceptionally rare whisky to its distinguished range, the limited edition Old Pulteney 35 Year Old. Only 450 cases of this outstanding single malt will be rolled out to global markets with a retail price of £500 per bottle.

The embodiment of Pulteney Distillery’s exceptional craftsmanship, this new expression is matured in American ex-bourbon and Spanish ex-sherry casks which have been expertly hand selected by Distillery Manager Malcolm Waring. Each striking 700ml bottle is non-chill filtered at 42.5% ABV. On the palate this full bodied expression is sweet and spicy to start then quickly develops a range of signature Old Pulteney flavours from honey, rum soaked raisins and oranges to the heavier notes of seasoned leather, pralines and a touch of the salty North Sea air. A truly indulgent, perfectly balanced whisky, it has a long slow finish and is light amber in colour.

The eye catching detail and design of the limited edition reflects the brand’s rich maritime heritage, which includes a stunning wooden box with porthole revealing the unique Old Pulteney bottle which carries the classic herring drifter, which has become a symbol of the brand.

Founded in 1826 at the height of Wick’s herring boom, Pulteney Distillery is one of the most Northerly distilleries on the Scottish mainland. It is this unique maritime heritage that gives the whisky its identity as the ‘Maritime Malt’. A long-held favourite tipple for whisky enthusiasts, many say they can taste a faint hint of the sea in Old Pulteney maltsthanks to the Distillery’s windswept location and close proximity to the North Sea.

The launch of the 35 Year Old follows the success of Old Pulteney’s 40 Year Old single malt which was released in 2012, Old Pulteney Senior Brand Manager, Margaret Mary Clarke commented:

“Old Pulteney 35 Year Old is a world class expression and we are delighted to add another high age, limited edition to our existing portfolio.

 From its eye catching packaging to its superior taste, the new malt is a true reflection of Old Pulteney’s outstanding quality and craftsmanship. We are confident that it will take its place amongst the best luxury whiskies available today and cement our position as one of the UK’s top ten single malts.” 





Highland Park announce the launch of a new core expression inspired by the cunning spirit and courageous personality of its founder, Magnus Eunson.

dark originsEstablishing a secret bunker in the hills of High Park in Orkney, Magnus ‘Mansie’ Eunson became a famed dark distiller back in the late 1700s, creating whisky for the people of Orkney to offer relief from the villainy of the tax collector. By day he workedtirelesslyin his church providing spiritual guidance to the peopleofOrkney, but in the dead of night, he hand crafted what was to ultimately become the best spirit in the world, warming hearts and uniting all who tasted it.

Dark Origins, a stunning, non-chill filtered single malt with an ABV of 46.8%, will start to appear on shelves in July and roll out internationally throughout autumn 2014.

It uses twice as many first fill sherry casks than in the classic Highland Park 12 year old resulting in a naturally darker, richer flavour with sherried spice, a chocolate twist and the signature sweet smoke fans of the Orcadian elixir have come to know and love.

Highland Park is one of the few distilleries not using distiller’s caramel and so Dark Origins takes its natural colour from the interaction between spirit and cask which Highland Park believes consistently rate amongst the best casks in whisky.

 Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager, said: “Cask management is so very crucial to our work at Highland Park. We have strived to raise the bar, working tirelessly in sourcing the right wood and then working and finessing the balances to ensure we create single malt that is rich, warm and enticing in flavour. Dark Origins sits in the heart of our core range complementing them perfectly – distinct in itself, but always and forever a classic Highland Park.”

The official tasting notes:

Colour:                 Rich mahogany

Nose:                    Sherried spice and ripe bananas combine with toasted hazelnuts and baked apple

Palate:                  Well-balanced, dry peat at first mellowing out to maraschino cherries, warm dark chocolate entices the palate

Finish:                  Enduring sweet smoke

Dark Origins will be exclusively available from Harrods from 1st July – 14th July for £64.95. It will then be available from specialist independent whisky retailers, at the Highland Park distillery and www.highlandpark.co.uk thereafter.

Glenfiddich releases 26YO expression

Glenfiddich-Excellence-26-Year-OldGlenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old is the first globally-released expression from the Dufftown distillery to be matured exclusively in first fill and refill Bourbon barrels.

Described as having notes of vanilla, toffee, caramelised pineapple and spring blossom on the nose, the 43% abv single malt delivers vanilla, oak and dry tannin qualities on the palate.

Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman said the Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old is one of “the most desirable expressions yet”.

“By maturing this expression exclusively in Bourbon casks we’ve created a beautifully intense flavour, reflective of the relentless passion we have for producing single malts.”

Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old will be a permanent addition to the distillery’s range, and will be available from June in select retailers and on-trade accounts in core markets for an RRP of £350.

Communication around the launch of the expression will fall in line with the brand’s recently launched marketing campaign, Family Run since 1887.

“As a family run company, we’ve always challenged established whisky-making norms because we care personally about the quality of our single malts,” said Peter Gordon, Glenfiddich company director.

“We cherish our independence because it allows us to innovate and create superior whiskies, and Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old is a prime example of this.”

The only other expression released by the brand to be matured in American oak is the Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 19 Year Old Bourbon Cask, which was launched in travel retail in 2012.



Bowmore-tempest-vTempest V is non-chill filtered and aged for 10 years in first fill Bourbon casks and is described as a “true product of its environment,” due to the “detectable” salty ocean breeze and signature dark Islay peat.

As with previous releases in the Tempest collection, Tempest V offers similar characteristics such as mandarin, tangy lime and cassis, while at the same time differentiating itself with a fuller, richer and sweeter first fill Bourbon character.

With a splash of water, Tempest is said to burst with flavours of “tangy seaweed tempered bysweet vanilla ice cream and sugared almonds”.

“It is Bowmore matured in the very highest quality of 1st fill ex Bourbon casks, revealing harmonious and enveloping layers of honeycomb, rich Bourbon vanilla and ripening fruits carried on an ocean breeze,” said Rachel Barrie, master blender.

“Tempest V’s highly complex layers of silky smooth vanilla and luscious fruit-infused peatiness transport you to the elemental beauty of Islay.”

Bottled at 55.9% ABV, Tempest V is currently available from Royal Mile Whiskies, Whisky Exchange, Harrods and Arkwright’s Whisky and Wine at an RRP of £46.99.

Whisky Review – Highland Park 21 Year Old 1989 Banyuls Finish – Mission (Murray McDavid)

Back to the dusty archives today! This one was my 2nd place (but almost No 1) at the Dramming Freestyle Blind Tasting contest (and the contest winner)

This was the only Scottish whisky in the contest but the devilish Oliver has chosen one with an unusual cask finish.

I guessed its origin from Scotland, 20 years old and with ABV of 55. Not too bad a guess, ah? But how Scottish is this one?

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Whisky Review – Highland Park Einaer

Marketing is serious big deal for every product and hard to master skill, right? When we look at the single malt whisky market and marketing we can notice that most distilleries core range malts stick to age, barrel types and usages and other whisky attributes to brand, label, tag and market their whiskies.

However, sometimes when you need to market unique and special products to specific crowded and competitive market (and audience), the question that probably rises in those marketing teams – how do we make it stand out so people will buy our products and not the others (or both, but make sure ours are in your basket…).

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