Highland Park 15, 2003-2019, 58.2% – Wu Dram Clan

So, Highland Park seems to have found their spot with single cask releases! A few years ago everybody was releasing ‘an Orkney whisky’, and now we’re getting Official Bottlings for chains of stores, single stores, clubs, whisky bars and whatnot.

The biggest drawback is that these whiskies are coming in at about € 150-180 for a 15 year old. The main redeeming factor is that they’re bloody amazing!

This one came out for the Wu Dram Club, of which Boris Borissov and Sebastian Jaeger (of Lagavulin and Springbank fame) are part, and it was them who sent me a sample for trying. Fun fact: When I looked it up on Whiskybase for more information, I found that there’s a bottling for ‘Dutch Flagship Stores’ that is the other half of the split cask! So, there’s ways to actually get this whisky!

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Sniff:
Strong on the nose with the alcohol masquerading the sherry a little bit. Lots of spices and fruit, but very clean. Candied fruits, with heaps of dried mango and apricot. Some cinnamon and other baking spices. Very tree bark like.

Sip:
It’s very strong on the arrival, with the sherry giving the whisky a dryness that’s a bit stronger than normally with Highland Park. The spices kick in again, with spiced pound cake. Clove, cinnamon, black pepper. Maybe some nutmeg too, freshly grated. There’s a bit of fruitiness too, with mostly apricot, and maybe some prunes.

Swallow:
The finish is a lot more mellow, but a little bit heavier on the palate. Even a bit leathery and tar like. Fruits and spices, dry oak dust.

The only thing that stops this from getting a 91 point mark from me, is the simple fact that I prefer Highland Park from bourbon casks. But enough with the nagging!

This is a cracking whisky and the dryness and spiciness, combined with a backdrop of tropical fruits makes this a cracking dram. It’s pretty strong, so not an easy drinker at the beginning of the evening, but one that can trump a lot on quite a few tastings.

I absolutely love the clear notes of baking spices, with these dried fruits. It’s not as rich as Christmas cake, but the spices are more pronounced and identifiable. Stunning stuff.

90/100

Highland Park 2003-2019, 15 years old, First Fill European Oak Sherry Cask #6162, 58.2% – Available through (I guess) the Wu Dram Whisky Clan and ‘The Dutch Flagship Stores’.
The bottle can be ordered through the Clan’s Facebook page.

Much obliged to Boris and Sebastian for sending a sample! Loved it!

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm. highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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