Orkney Island 2005-2020, 14yo, 59.7% – Berry Bros & Rudd for Whiskybase

Of course this is Highland Park. All of the ‘undisclosed’ Orkney whiskies are Highland Park.

This one was released sometime during the end of last year and I scored a bottle for bottle-sharing. I ended up with some 10cl for myself, because I like Highland Park in most situations.

Actually, I like Highland Park a lot. Somehow it just sits well with me, even though the indies are always undisclosed Orkney, and the official bottlings are generally too expensive. I do like the whisky, and I do like that there’s virtually no weird casks. Just straight forward sherry and bourbon casks.

Berry Bros and Rudd then. An old fashioned bottler that is a bit hit and miss for me. I like the approach, but I don’t always like their selection. They also focus on straight forward whiskies, most of the time. Sometimes, however, the selection is a bit bland. Not always, though.

Let’s see where this one sits.

Sniff:
Quite spirity, but heavy. Grain, moss, slate, some heathery peat. Also a whiff of leather, something funky, dunnage warehouses.

Sip:
Sharp, with a lot of grain, and quite some white oak for a ten year old. Heathery smoke, moss, some apple and minerals.

Swallow:
The finish is a bit more gentle, more sweet with a hint of vanilla. The weight of the smoke stays too, but the minerality is a bit less than it was on the palate.

As you might have deduced from the introduction, there’s a hint skepticism here. This whisky is a bit bland, like I described some of Berry’s whiskies. It’s absolutely not bad, but for a 14 year old Highland Park there’s just not much happening.

It follows the distillery character to a T, with some heaviness, some heathery smoke, some minerals. Maybe it’s the high ABV that makes it a bit closed, but somehow it just doesn’t deliver.

This one is just a bit boring.

84/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. 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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