Highland Park is not one of my favourites when it comes to the original bottlings. Strange actually, since I think it’s a nice whisky when it is bottled by an independent bottler. I keep wondering how there can be such a difference since it is the same spirit that is used… Anyway, that is why you will not come across many reviews of the original bottlings here, but rather of the independent bottlers, like this Highland Park 1989 from Gordon & MacPhail.
This Highland Park has matured in a refill sherry butt for 30 years and is bottled at 51.1% ABV.
Highland Park 1989 tasting notes:
Nose: Mandarins at first, but this disappears quite quickly. Then Blueberries and prunes. Some honey as well and a lovely scent of dark chocolate. Then it goes towards heather, which is followed by red apples and a hint of cinnamon.
Taste: Quite some honey to start with. Then followed by dark chocolate and caramel. Fresh oranges. It is somewhat oaky, but not too much. Spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of black pepper.
Finish: A long finish with red apple, dark chocolate again and spices.
Oh, this is good! A very pleasant dram that gets better and better when you give it time. The refill sherry butt integrates nicely here with the Highland Park spirit. This is how Highland Park should be all the time. Really really good.
Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail for the sample.