I seriously cannot remember when I last bought a modern 40% whisky. Also, I cannot remember when I bought anything this regularly available. However, Serge’s 90 point review got me intrigued, and I was lucky enough to score a sample by TvE.
The next weekend I slowly drank that sample and, even though a bit suspicious, I was very pleasantly surprised by this whisky. So much so that the next day I went to the shop and got myself a bottle. At € 35, it is a steal, especially with me sometimes buying 10cl samples that cost more than this 70cl.
I don’t care much for all the viking stuff that Highland Park is up to, but apart from the name I haven’t seen much on this one. This might be my lack of up-to-date-ness on Highland Park’s marketing activities, or just because they’ve toned it down a little. The latter wouldn’t be a bad thing after the nonsense that happened some years ago with all these wooden longboat containers for bottles and such…
Anyway, tasting notes!
Dry and spicy with a lot of oak. There’s a certain youth to it, but with a spirit like this, that’s not a problem at all. Dry apple, some baking spices like cinnamon. A hint of ginger and heather. A whiff of smoke, with some earthiness.
A very light palate. There’s quite some oak, a lot of barley, spices. Some dry pear and apple, with some more barley sugar after it settles a bit. Heather and honey, a whiff of smoke.
The finish is very gentle, and the dryness is a little bit toned down, compared to the palate. The fruit is toned down too, and the hints of straw, smoke, heather and honey are more prominent.
This is a very, very solid drinking whisky. Almost on par with Benromach 10 year old, although they are very different in character. There’s a lot of flavor going on with more than enough room for Highland Park’s top notch spirit shining through the maturation.
I love the complexity, and I love that, for a change, that doesn’t come wrapped in 55%+ liquid. Very well worth the € 35!
Highland Park Viking Scars, 10 years old, 2019 bottling, 40%. Available at Drinks & Gifts