The Schtick: This is a bottling of Highland Park spirit by Single Cask Nation – an Independent Bottler known by the Jewish Whiskey Company. This is distilled at an Orkney Distillery that isn’t Scapa, as the cheeky documentation notes, so it’s very clear where this was distilled. This was branded as a collaboration between SCN and Hello From The Magic Tavern, an improvisational comedy podcast. I don’t really know why this collaboration is a thing, but it has spawned a creative label for the bottle.
It is matured in a refill PX cask, of unknown activity, since SCN seems unable to keep straight the terminology for casks and uses both “refill”, “third fill” and “second fill” in my occasional brushes with them on social media. Nonetheless, I peg the cask to be a genuine refill to the second degree, since the spirit is dark and impacted by the fruits, but not to the level we’d see in a first fill cask. I might be wrong here, but it’s not a huge deal since it’s a tiny data point and a small variable in a large piece of the overall maturation puzzle. I jumped on this because SCN does weird things that other producers usually won’t (first fill Madeira Glen Moray, anyone?!) and because IB Highland Park usually sings to me.
Distiller: Highland Park (Orkney)
Bottler: Single Cask Nation (Jewish Whiskey Co)
ABV: 57.4% ABV
Age: 13 Years
Distilled: December 2004
Bottled: January 2018
Bottle: One of 294 Bottles
Cask: #76, Refill PX
Nose: Floral and sweet. Sweet, fresh baked, doughnuts. Caramel, toffee, vanilla butter cream. Rich honey, light fruits like currant, cherry and fig.
Taste: Medium to thick mouth feel. Minor heat. Honey, syrupy stewed fruits. Nutty sherry. Caramel, toffee, pepper. Lots of tobacco and then ashy, woody, smoke rolls in. Currants, blackberries and fig blends well with the peaty smoke, more intense than HP’s standard smoke profile. Burning wood, pepper, ash.
Finish: Long, ashy, vegetal and sweet. Burning wood, faint bandage, light vanilla cream. Rich berries, sharp pepper and some tobacco. The finish is smoke dominated, with some nice fruity undertones.
Overall: This is really nice, and transforms in very interesting ways from nose to finish. Really exceptional, especially with the blend of sweet fruits and ashy smoke.
Thanks for reading!
Other Highland Park Expressions I Have Reviewed:
- Review #945 — Highland Park Spirit of the Bear
- Review #881 — Highland Park 26yr Murray McDavid 1989 Banyuls Cask
- Review #757 — Highland Park Loki (Valhalla Collection)
- Review #755 — Highland Park Freya (Valhalla Collection)
- Review #693 — Highland Park 17yr “The Dark”
- Review #633. Gordon MacPhail Highland Park 15yr 1999 Ex-Bourbon
- Review #615. Highland Park Full Volume
- Review #613. Highland Park Odin
- Review #402. Highland Park 25yr Signatory Vintage
- Review #326. Highland Park 28yr Cadenheads
- Review #308. Highland Park Dark Origins
- Review #161. Highland Park 18yr
- Review #32 — Highland Park 12yr