Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret this whisky very differently from me.
I was fortunate enough to win this from to wonderful people at Master of Malt through their #WhiskySanta competition. If you’ve not heard of this before then you’re really missing out! Every year they run a competition which starts sometime in November and runs until Christmas Eve. All you have to do is find something you want from their website and instead of buying it you wish for it – the wish button gives you the option to share your wish via Facebook or Twitter with #WhiskySanta included. They then pick one lucky winner each day whose wish will be granted – it’s that simple! You can read more on their own blog here.
Now I had already tried this at a Highland Park tasting run by The Birmingham Whisky Club which you can read about here. However I only added some basic notes for this particular whisky as I intended to expand upon them at a later date when I opened my bottle at home. So here are my more detailed tasting notes:
Golden verging on amber.
Sweet, brown sugar with a hint of dark chocolate, a faint note of heather and an orange, citrus edge.
Creamy, sweet, again that dark chocolate from the nose comes through. A definite spiciness to it which builds but eventually gives way to fruity, almost tropical notes with a hint of apple, possibly mango and an orange peel flavour. All rounded off with a gentle smokiness.
Medium to long. Tropical fruit coming through on the finish again, creamy, slight spice and a gentle smoke to end.
Anyone who knows me will know I’m a big fan of anything Highland Park and this is certainly no exception. It might be a bit above the budget of people starting out in the world of whisky but at the same time it won’t necessarily break the bank to buy at around £140 – £150 (if you shop around)… the fact that I got it for free however did certainly enhance the experience for me!
I wouldn’t want to say “go out and buy this now”. Instead I’d recommend trying some of the younger expressions from Highland Park first such as the 12 year or 18 year. I’d also recommend the 15 year (if you can find it for a reasonable price) and the Dark Origins (while it’s still available). But if you find you like Highland Park and want to splash a bit of cash then you certainly won’t be disappointed by this!
Taken from the Highalnd Park Website:
Drawing its incredible character from predominantly American oak casks which have been seasoned with sherry, our 21 year old is a truly dynamic whisky, with an intensely fruity and spicy centre, surrounded by complex layers of candied orange peel, dark chocolate and rich, slightly drier smoke. It is a malt whisky that rewards patience and delivers an experience like no other.
Colour: Natural colour, reddish gold Orkney sunset
Nose: Butterscotch, dark chocolate and orange
Palate: Full flavour, candied orange peel with spicy dark chocolate leading to a rich smoky sensation
Finish: Rich, complex, sweet smoky sensation then soft medium dry