Origin: Orkney Islands (Scozia)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon first fill
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Edrington Group
Average price: € 89.00
Official website: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
Music and whisky share certain aspects: both are born from a refined, fragile and mysterious accord of different elements, and both need, in order to be fully successful, a balance that arranges the tones with millesimal precision. When this happens, the listener on the one hand and the drinker on the other, even if distracted or occasional, feel that they are in front of an authentic work of art.
Highland Park Full Volume, a limited edition on sale since October 2017 and still widely available in online shops, recalls the musical element right from the packaging, with the two speakers of a stereo system reproduced on the front. The brainchild of Highland Park Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion, Full Volume is a NAS, i.e. a whisky with no official ageing declaration, but the packaging does show the year of distillation, 1999, and the year of bottling, 2017. This is a not inconsiderable age, especially when you consider that most NASs are much younger.
It’s matured entirely in a mix of former 200-litre Bourbon barrels and 250-litre hogsheads, all first fill. The 481 casks chosen were filled on 30 March, 29 April, 10, 17, 31 August and 7 September, also in 1999, with a distillate ranging from 63.6% to 63.7% ABV and chillfiltered at 4ºC. The Full Volume is offered at 47.2% ABV.
The colour is a light gold.
On the nose, a strong hint of white pepper and a sweet custard scent come through immediately, accompanied by a hint of almond, a fragrance of green apple and a generous splash of pink grapefruit. The range of aromas is rounded off by a very incisive white grape, while the light peat of Highland Park really remains an impression in the background. A few minutes and it’s the custard that grows in depth. After a good half hour of aeration, the white grapes take on a certain importance. This is an olfactory profile that as a whole communicates a sensation of freshness and yet does not sacrifice elegance to dynamism.
In the mouth, the pepper starts off strong and seems for a few moments to be full-bodied, but the fruity notes of pink grapefruit and white grapes soon come to restore the balance. The balance is even better thanks to a mouth-watering bite of pastry that embraces the whole. Over time, we don’t seem to notice any substantial changes, but after a while, the grape comes out on top.
The finish is medium to long with pink grapefruit, grapes and white pepper.
This Highland Park is not a “cracking” whisky, as the name Full Volume might suggest, but a complex symphony of aromas, completely devoid of excesses, whose miraculous harmony seduces the drinker from the first sip.
The Whiskey Reviewer