Tasting Orkney IV: Highland Park Dark Origins
Before I move on to their older whiskies (18yo and 25yo), let’s try the newest addition to the Highland Park-family. Dark Origins is a, by Highland Park standards, heavily sherried whisky. It also comes without an age statement. Releasing NAS whiskies in this day and age is an almost surefire way to get negative press, and the Dark Origins was treated with healthy skepticism by many. But now that it’s been on the market for a couple of months, the consensus seems to be that this is actually a pretty good whisky, regardless of its age.
Highland Park Dark Origins (46,8%, OB, NAS)
Nose: The first whiff is filled with soy and a mineral/metallic quality. After I get past that, some sugared almonds appear. There is a hint of wood smoke, a little bit of peat and some bitter coffee notes. Cinnamon and nutmeg.
Taste: Dry, woody and peppery. Sweat, peaty flavours. Some earthy notes, dried fruits and hints of mint.
Finish: Lightly peated, nutty. Oaky and smoky. Medium in length.
An enjoyable whisky that is one of the better examples of why you should at least give NAS whisky a chance. The downside: it comes at a hefty price of at least 70 euro.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.