I was able to pick up this bottle some years ago, before they went down to 40%, so way before they went back up to 47.5%. My sister went somewhere through duty free and called which bottle to bring. This one it was. So, thanks sis!
Anyway, I like Highland Park. A lot. At least, there are a few bottlings nowadays that I can’t be bothered with. Most of the Warrior series that I’ve tried weren’t very impressive, but I haven’t tried the top end. I wasn’t very impressed with Thor either, but I did really like Loki.
So, while it used to be a distillery that I would buy bottles of blindly, currently I prefer to try before I buy. This one is from the previous of those periods.
Right off the bat there’s a slight oaky bitterness, so I am sold. Some spices and a hint of peat as well. Some sherry influence with peaches and plums. The spices are leaning towards cloves, cinnamon sticks and oak.
Quite a lot of punch at first, but calms down right after. Spicy again, with oak. There’s a bitterness and a dryness that come with that oak. There’s a gentle fruit sweetness, with some red fruits in the background.
The finish is very much Highland Park, with very complex flavours. Actually, more or less all food groups are present, except for proteins I think. Spices, fruits, malt, oak, smoke. The lot.
This is a delicious whisky. I’m not sure what happened with later versions that had different ABVs, but this one hits a home run. I really like the gentle whiff of peat, with all those spices and hint of fruit as well. Absolutely gorgeous.
Highland Park 21, 47.5%. This old version is about € 125 now at Whiskysite.nl