To commemorate the opening of Gatwick Airport’s new North Terminal later this month, Highland Park has teamed up with World Duty Free to release a single cask bottling. They’ve picked a Highland Park 2005 12 Years Old from and ex-sherry cask.
The high abv at which this is bottled immediately catches the eye. At 66,4%, this is highest ever percentage an official Highland Park has been bottled at (according to data available on Whiskybase). As Highland Park fills its cask at 69,5% most of the time, this has held it’s abv remarkably well.
Highland Park 2005 12 Years Old (66,4%, OB for Gatwick Airport, C#1140)
Nose: Vanilla and fudge, with a hint of menthol and ginger. Touch of sulphur. Some soft fruits too. Nectarines, but also plenty of oranges, accompanied by a whiff of honey and strawberries. Adding water gives it a more floral vibe. It never really opens up though.
Taste: Shoe polish and plenty of oak and spices. There’s nutmeg, ginger and cloves. A big hit of white pepper. Lets add a splash of water. That calms it down a bit. More toffee notes now, as well as milk chocolate and caffè macchiato. It also has a nutty quality. A whisper of smoke now as well.
Finish: Lingering spices, plenty of oak.
At full strength this is probably too much for most. I know it was for me at least. But playing with water helps and shows this Highland Park has a little more depth than you might expect at first. Available exclusively at Gatwick Airport from 26th October, priced at £104.