The Highland Park Ice Edition. After a few series centered around viking-based marketing there suddenly was a new series that focuses on I don’t know what. Ice is not really an element, so that can’t be it.
To be honest, and probably to no surprise, I didn’t care one bit about this whisky when it came out. It’s far too hyped and far too expensive. I believe it came out for over € 200, and compared to other 17 year old official bottlings that means about € 100 of that is going into packaging and marketing.
Once again, I don’t care about releases like this, even though the whisky might be spectacular, it’s just too much. The one redeeming factor this has is that there’s an age stated on the bottle.
Luckily, during the ‘Luxury Autum Tasting’ at De Whiskykoning, I got to try it after all. I tried to be unbiased when trying this, but I suck at that. Here it goes anyway.
The nose is rather flat at first. After a couple of whiffs I am getting some hints of oak, with a trace of smoke. Some coconut and biscuit like pastry. Quite malty as well.
The palate is rather sharp, but still light. Dry, with oak and sweet pastry notes. Cookie dough.
The finish smooths out quickly and is quite long. It’s slightly more green and has more hints of coconut than the palate. Barley and oak.
Well, in a way it doesn’t disappoint. But that’s mostly because my expectations were quite low to begin with. A rather underwhelming dram where there is more focus on marketing, packaging and creating hype than actually creating a good whisky.
Normally this annoys me quite a bit, but when you know that a distillery like Highland Park can make such awesome whiskies, this almost feels like betrayal.
What also really doesn’t help is the perceived limitedness of bottles like this. I am in some of these ‘buy and sell’ groups for whisky on Facebook, and these bottles, as well as the newer ‘Fire’ edition went for inflated by prices from people ‘kindly offering theirs’ to ‘others who missed out’. I guess those others missed out on a few brain cells too, since this wee puppy was still for sale in most whisky web shops, often at lower prices.
Highland Park Ice, 17yo, 1st Fill ex bourbon casks, 53.9%. Still available for € 295