I saw some prices for official Highland Parks the other day, and I just had to try this one. It wanted to be picked. It’s and eighties Highland Park by Douglas Laing. A sherried one that was released almost ten years ago, and the cost then was next to nothing. (around 50 Euro’s). Well a lot has changed in the Whiskyworld the last decade. So Highland Park 19yo. Alas I wasn’t able to recover a picture for this bottle so I will show here a brother of the 19yo, the 17yo that was released two years earlier (Also a 1984). The 19yo I’ll review here will more or less look the same.
Color: White wine.
Nose: Apple sauce, very clean, a little bit of wood and a little bit of spice. Dusty but overall fruity. Lot’s of toffee and again warm sweet apple sauce. Although pleasant, it doesn’t seem quite right. There is something like coal smoke in the distance, maybe even some sulphur. A slight hint of burnt wood and paper and cardboard. The longer this breathes the better it gets. The apple bit wears off.
Taste: Short attack that dissipates quickly and falls again into a fruity sweetness. Alongside the apple there also is some blackcurrant. It’s nice, it’s a lemonade at first, that drinks nicely away. Prickly smoke in the back of your mouth. The 50% ABV delivers good oomph. Licorice and a hint of wood with a lighter acidic and slightly bitter finish, after the ‘full’ body. The finish is the weakest part.
Likeable, but nothing special. It has its merits, but if I had tasted this blind, I would have never guessed this was a Highland Park. It’s quite far from the official Highland Park’s. I’m guessing Fino Sherry, but also a tired cask. In almost 20 years the Whisky hardly picked up any color, a not a lot of character from the wood itself. No use to compare, but the other Whisky from Orkney, Scapa, I reviewed for Master Quill’s 1st Anniversary was a lot better!
By the way. The depicted 17yo scored 85 Points.