highland park 1986 24 years mo or collection 2275

Highland Park 1986 24 Years (MO ÒR Collection)

You’d be forgiven if the MO ÒR Collection doesn’t immediately ring a bell. For one, the bulk of the 61 releases were bottled a dozen years ago. And secondly, not many ever made it to the market. But that’s about to change. Somewhat, at least. To mark the occasion, I’m reviewing the Highland Park 1986 24 Years from the MO ÒR Collection.

MO ÒR, which means “my gold” in Gaelic, is a brand closely associated with Scotch Whisky Investments. This company was founded by Michel Kappen, a former banker turned whisky investment guru. He also created the MO ÒR Collection, which explains how many of these bottles have ended up in the investment portfolios of his clients.

When the collection was launched originally, it was marketed towards high-end hospitality businesses or as an exclusive corporate gift. The whiskies ranged from accessible to extremely luxurious. For example, there was a 14-year-old Tormore, but also a Bowmore 1968 and Caperdonich 1972. Yet after the initial splash, MO ÒR slowly faded away, largely because there were no new releases to speak of.

The occasional bottle from the MO ÒR Collection would end up at auction. I’ve seen a few opened and shared amongst whisky enthusiasts. But many would stay securely stashed away in the Scotch Whisky Investments’ headquarters in Sassenheim, a Dutch town not far from Amsterdam. (It’s also where the impressive Zaggati Collection is located.)

Starting in 2024, Scotch Whisky Investments will be releasing a limited amount of the MO ÒR whiskies that were bottled back in 2010 and 2011. “They are our sleeping beauties, so to speak,” explains Marja van Velzen, marketing lead for MO ÒR. “They’re not just great whiskies to invest in, but are also beautiful whiskies to drink or collect. That’s why we’ll make some of them available, little by little.”

Initially, 8 whiskies from the MO ÒR Collection will be offered as a set. The set will include the Highland Park I’m reviewing below, as well as:

  • Bowmore 1968 42 Years (42.4%, C#3825)
  • Tullibardine 1965 44 Years (48.8%, C#959)
  • Glen Moray 1971 39 Years (46%, C#5)
  • Ladyburn ‘Rare Ayrshire’ 1974 36 Years (46%, C#2608)
  • Tomatin 1976 34 Years (46%, C#4)
  • Miltonduff 1980 30 Years (46%, C#12431)
  • Macallan 1991 19 Years (46%, C#21436)

It’s probably not the technical term, but Scotch Whisky Investments own a shitload of whisky casks. These are currently maturing in Scotland and some already have been added to the MO ÒR Collection. For example, just last year the company bottled another 8 casks, including a 31-year-old Macallan and a 30-year-old Imperial. Further casks will be added in the (near) future.

The initial set of 8 whiskies (the ones outlined above) was officially launched last week at the Masters Expo. Only “a select few” will be made available for sale next year. Scotch Whisky Investments is planning on releasing other sets in the future too, possibly including a few of the newer bottlings.

The recent expansion of the collection acted as a catalyst for the decision to relaunch MO ÒR. It isn’t exactly a household name, and if you’re looking for a return on your investment, it’s probably smart of Scotch Whisky Investments to invest in brand recognition and dust of the cobwebs.

After all, many older bottlings do well at auction because of their excellent reputation. A reputation that was built by whisky enthusiasts who were able to taste these legends, spreading the word throughout the whisky community. Despite having been bottled well over a decade ago, the whiskies from MO ÒR haven’t been tasted by many people yet. So, there’s much to gain still.

However, I’m not sure Scotch Whisky Investments’ new course for MO ÒR will allow for more bottles to be opened. The price for the entire set (10,781.25 euro) will make you think twice before popping a cork. For now, let’s focus our attention on the collection’s Highland Park 1986 24 Years, which matured in a bourbon hogshead.

highland park 1986 24 years mo or collection 2275 closeup

Highland Park 1986 24 Years (46%, MO ÒR Collection, C#2275)

Nose: Very elegant and delicate, but with a nice waxiness. Subtle hints of lemon zest, some hessian, whispers of heather and a touch of Manuka honey. Then also whiffs of olive oil, limes and wet pebbles. Ending on notes of gooseberries and dried hay. Pretty impeccable.
Taste: Again, it’s waxy. Oily too. The reduced alcohol percentage doesn’t appear to be an issue at all. A pinch of white pepper alongside preserved lemons, gentle ashes and tobacco leaves. A touch of mushrooms, subtle oak spices and some menthol, as well as delicate fruits (tangerine, Galia melon and pears).
Finish: Medium to long. Somewhat herbaceous, mineral touches and earthy peat.

Exemplary stuff. It's wonderful how Highland Park has kept its DNA intact over the decades. What stands out in this Highland Park 1986 from MO ÒR is the mouthfeel, which certainly seems an upgrade over the more recent, modern Highland Park I have tasted. Otherwise, this is exactly what you'd expect from Highland Park, except with maybe a little extra pinch of nostalgia.

Sample provided by Scotch Whisky Investments

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