Highland Park Dragon Legend (2017)
I said I would stop reviewing undisclosed Orkney single malts for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about Highland Park completely, now does it? Not that there’s much to write about the Highland Park Dragon Legend.
I refuse to share the marketing story with you, even though that’s about the only thing Highland Park finds worth mentioning on their own website. The only things of note are the mention of a proportion of sherry seasoned oak casks, as well as that this is supposedly smokier than your average Highland Park.
Highland Park Dragon Legend (43.1%, OB, 2017)
Nose: Opens up on caramel-glazed apples and vanilla, but also touches of floral honey. There’s a whiff of straw as well. A touch of dried apricots. I know Highland Park isn’t heavily peated, but I struggle to find any here.
Taste: Somewhat dry with subtle touches of smoke and soot, but also farmy and grassy. Whiffs of charred oak, ginger and chili pepper. Rather spicy, with just a wee bit of dried fruits.
Finish: Spicy and subtle smoke. Medium in length.
Veering towards a little too much spiciness on the palate, this is otherwise a quality Highland Park, but I don’t feel it delivers on its promise. How is this the richer, smokier side of Highland Park? Enough intricacies and body to keep most whisky drinkers interested though.
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.