Review #693 | /r/Scotch Review #236 – Highland Park 17yr “The Dark”
The Schtick: Released during the dark of winter, this expression from Highland Park focuses on the winter months. It is a 17yr old single malt, matured in European oak seasoned sherry casks and bottled at cask strength. I am happy to see an age statement here, on this expression, though. I originally thought this was a release from them using genuine first fill sherry casks, but I see now that I was a bit off. I have a hypothesis that 15+yr CS FF sherried maturation HP is my Orkeny endgame, but I suppose I’ll need to keep hunting that ~~fish~~ whale. In the meantime, let’s see how this is!
Distiller: Highland Park
Bottler: Highland Park
ABV: 52.9% ABV
Age: 17 Years
Nose: Honey, vanilla, toffee, pepper, sticky sherry fruits. Really thick with stewed fruits, like fig, blackberry jam, pepper, some apricot. Overall, more sweet that spicy.
Taste: Medium mouthfeel, sweet sherry fruits, brash pepper, faint salinity and some nice smoke. There’s a lot going on, its definitely got some pepper and sulfur in with the stewed fruits, but the heat is in check and well behaved. Reminds me a lot of Classic Cut, but with more pepper, and a really nice smoke presence.
Finish: Medium, some pepper and sulfur here but the smoke and sticky sherry fruits blend really nicely.
Overall: I like to hate on HP for gimmicky releases, but this isn’t one of them. Really delicious and the smoke character really helps this from being too sweet and cloying.
Thanks for reading!
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