Tasting Orkney VI: Highland Park 25yo
With each new batch of Highland Park 25yo the alcohol percentage is lower: from 53,5% in 1995 to 45,7% of alcohol in the most recent edition from 2012, which I’ll be reviewing today. Watering down your whisky is not a particularly good sign, but that doesn’t mean this newest installment of the 25yo can’t still be a very good whisky. Let’s find out!
Highland Park 25yo (45,7%, OB)
Nose: Ah yes, lots of sherry influence. Big aromas. Dried red fruits, caramel, cherries, fudge and toffee. Also very spicy, mainly cinnamon. The smoke is very subtle, some charred oak is accompanied by damp wood and leather.
Taste: A bit rubbery at first with a very oily mouthfeel. Smoke. Still some sherry, but the spices take over here. Ginger and cloves. Tastes like the alcohol content is much higher than 45,7%.
Finish: A fiery finish, with mint, spices and pepper. Lingers for a long time.
This whisky deserves a high score. You can’t really compare it to its younger 18 year old sibling, because there is so much more sherry influence here. What I can say is that it is a bold whisky, with big aromas and flavors, but with a nose that is also complex and has some nice subtle elements.
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.