Origin: Orkney (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry refill
Added colouring: No
Average price: € 360.00
Official website: www.cadenhead.scot
After concluding 2020 on Whisky Art with a review of the first release of Highland Park Cask Strenght, we end 2021 with another dram from the Orkney Islands’ most famous distillery: a 28yo distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2020 by the independent Cadenhead exclusively for its Whisky Shop in Milan.
This is a single cask from a former refill Sherry butt that produced a total of 396 bottles that are now hard to find. The cask strength is a remarkable 58.7% ABV. Expectations are high for several reasons. Firstly, Highland Park is one of our favourite distilleries. Secondly, 28 years is a remarkable age. Thirdly, it is very rare for Cadenhead to miss a shot, or rather a bottling.
The colour is a magnificent bright gold.
On the nose, we are immediately struck by a scent of heather honey, which we interpret as the distillery’s calling card, followed shortly afterwards by a note, admittedly rather delicate, of cherries in alcohol which seems to be the first immediate contribution of the ex-Sherry cask, together with a hint of butter, one of walnut and one of sponge cake. Time enhances citrus fragrances that can be traced back to orange zest and ginger, while in the background there’s an impression of freshly cut grass. We are faced with an olfactory score that is both lively and composed at the same time, to which a hint of vanilla, in constant growth, and a floral note reminiscent of magnolia also contribute.
On the palate, the entrance is bold with lots of ginger and orange zest, accompanied by butter and heather honey that compensate for the tartness of the citrus with their creaminess. In the mouth, the whisky has the seductive charge of a passionate kiss and the soft, distinguished elegance required for a gala evening. The sponge cake is paired with dried apricot and leads the inebriated drinker towards a conclusion marked by ginger, butter and heather honey.
It’s true: a mature whisky is not necessarily an extraordinary whisky. But this Highland Park certainly is: from a suave nose, it moves on to a palate that, despite its age, is anything but mellow, to a finish that leaves a lasting impression. In short, the perfect whisky to end the year on the blog on a high note, with the hope that 2022 will pour just as much satisfaction into the glass.
Reviews of Highland Park whisky in the blog