Highland Park 1986, 25 years old, 54.1% – Malts of Scotland Amazing Casks

This is bound to be a good one for multiple reasons.

First, it’s a Highland Park. Second, it’s from Malts of Scotland AND they’re calling it an Amazing Cask. Third, it’s 25 years old, which seems to be a rather sweet spot for Highland Park.

This whisky was picked in 2012 by Thomas Ewers and Luc Timmermans. Mr. Ewers is one of the guys behind Malts of Scotland and Luc Timmermans used to own the brand Thosop, has some ancient Glenfarclas to his name and is now very involved in the Eiling Lim bottlings (Eiling Lim is his wife). Two lads with some good hooch to their name.

I was able to get a sample from whisky buddy MZ, after I went to his place for a night of awesome drams. I tried it then, but wanted to do a proper review and therefore liked to try again.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
The nose starts with oak and straw. There’s a light hint of smoke with some herbs and leaves. A touch of heather and grass come next, with a hint of crusty bread and dried thyme. Chalk, apple and pear show up later, after a couple of minutes.

Sip:
The palate is still pretty sharp, after 25 years. Dry with white pepper and some alcohol burn. Light smoke, light vanilla, some herbs. Heather, straw, and quite some oak. Later it becomes a bit more sweet with hints of pear.

Swallow:
The finish has a bit more vanilla than the palate had, but the oak and heather are still present. Not dry, but still quite herbaceous. Pretty long.

I think the name ‘Amazing Cask’ is well earned. This is a great whisky from a distillery that lives up to its name. In a way this isn’t the most complex Highland Park I’ve ever had, but the balance of it is just awesome. None of the flavors overpower others, and while there is some bite to it, it’s not burning too much. Just enough to make you realize you’re drinking a cask strength whisky.

This, once again, is one of those whiskies I didn’t buy when it came out, even though I knew I probably should have. Somehow, Malts of Scotland is not really on my radar, and again, it should be. Their normal level of bottling is pretty good, and if a brand that’s above average starts shouting things like ‘Amazing Casks’ I think I should pay attention.

But, to put things in perspective… It’s currently available in Germany for € 350. That is too much for this. It’s a great dram, but not in those leagues, I think. The initial price was some € 160 which was a steal.

Thanks to MZ for the sample! I loved it.

Highland Park 1986, 25 years old, 54.1%, Malts of Scotland Amazing Casks. Currently available for € 350

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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