Highland Park Distillery Island of Orkney Scotland Whisky from 100 to 200 euros

Highland Park 15yo Viking Heart

Review of the new version of the 15yo

Origin: Orkney Islands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Strength: 44%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry seasoned and refill
Chillfiltered: Yes
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Edrington Group
Average price: € 130.00
Official website: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
Vote: 88/100

It’s hard not to have caught your eye on this minimalist and inconspicuous bottle design, which in the context of the complete redefinition of the Highland Park portfolio in a Viking version is certainly the most… peculiar.
A bottling that marks the return of an ageing that had been missing for about six years, deciding to package it in this ceramic bottle (made by Wade Ceramics) with the intention of harking back to the containers in which whisky was stored a couple of centuries ago, made from a material known to be suitable for food.
The choice of a bathroom sink as inspiration, which is a radical deviation from other bottlings, remains decidedly bizarre, but in the end it’s the content that counts, which compared to the previous edition increases the strength and uses a mix of seasoned American and European casks and second-fill casks, all former sherry.

Tasting notes

On the nose it’s like a cosplay of the god Janus, with a fruity, soft face (peach, pear, pineapple, strawberry jam, chewing gum, honey, malt cream) and a sour and rougher one (currants, raspberries, tangerines, leather and a sulphurous note), framed by a cinnamon and nutmeg tie and a fluttering scarf of sea breeze. Along the length, a subtle thread of smoke creeps in immersed in apple juice. Rich and lively, very intriguing.
The smoke is the first element to slip into the mouth, not very intense but still framing the dram with its mineral salinity, followed by a light dose of pepper and ginger on the notes that turn more decisively to the sweet and fruity, with growth of citrus (orange, a hint of pink grapefruit) and honey. A pleasant sweetness, almost like sponge cake and creams that combine pastry with malted spread and salted caramel. Smoke growing over time, suspended between coffee roast and burnt wood, together with faint evocations of tea leaves and tobacco, almost with a balsamic impression.
Quite long finish, where the coffee becomes predominant over the mineral, smoky, fruity and vegetal notes.

For once a promising nose that doesn’t fall apart on the palate, not only fulfilling its promise but also giving a little something extra. Balanced, solid, rich, consistent in its evolution: perhaps the best expression I have tasted so far in Highland Park’s core range. Shame about the bottle’s appearance, but you can’t have everything…

Reviews of Highland Park whisky

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