Recently I got the chance to get my mits on a tiny sample of this 18 year old Highland Park. Obviously I wanted in, and thanks to some timily obtained bottled I was able to trade for it instead of buying the sample, which generally makes things more reachable than when having to throw money at it.
Anyway, an ancient Highland Park. I once tried a 1955 one but that was thin on the palate. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to try again with something similarly aged, of course.
So, a whisky distilled when my mom was 1 year old, and my dad 3. Bottled 7 years before I was born. It better be special!
The palate is smooth and slightly tingling. A bit creamy as well. A little bit of smoke is coming through, and the white pepper is back too. Star apple, Granny Smith. After a while I get some aniseed, white oak. There’s a flavor that makes this one stand out as ‘old distillate’, but I can’t put my hand on the exact aromas. Earthy as well.
The finish is light but also quite rich. Dusty with white pepper and flour. Not very long.
Well, while this is not the most complex of whiskies, it sure is good. Very, very good even. The flavors are very old fashioned and really stand out as distillate from another era. Apparently there have been quite some changes to the process since the mid fifties.
The white pepper is never overpowering, and the oak is very timid. The combination of pepper and apple works surprisingly well, and the pastry notes on the nose are awesome.
Highland Park 18, 1956-1974, bottled for Ferraretto Import, Milano, 43%. Obviously only available through high end outlets. Currently valued at about € 1000.