Distillery: Highland Park
Expression: 10 year old
Extra info: Bottled for Germany and the Netherlands
Since I started getting interested in whisky, Highland Park has had a special place with me. I’m a fan of the standard range of this distillery, I find that they combine sweet/bitter, good complexity and reasonable prices quite well. The 25 year old is one of my favourite whiskies ever. I’m not as big a fan of the warrior series & such though, I find some of those too easy a shot at a quick buck; too much money for too little quality (and information). This particular 10 year old expression found its way to me through a gift from a friend. Always nice to get whisky from people; gifted whisky always seems to taste better somehow. I’m not expecting too much of this one, though, because of its young age and the fact that it’s not bottled for all markets. Let’s see!
Nose: Quite a nice and crisp, clean, refreshing Highland Park nose. Soft, floral peat smoke with some nice fruitiness going on. The peat seems a bit stronger or ‘rougher’ than in some other HP expressions. Lemon, oranges and a hint of banana. Honey, cinnamon and some spice or herbs as well. Nothing too deep and complex, but for a ‘simple’ ten year old this is not bad at all.
Taste: Quite mellow on arrival with the peat hitting first, making way for some floral notes (lavender?) and sweetness of honey and vanilla. A bitter edge of spice and a slight metallic note. Some fruit in the back.
Finish: Not very long, but can we really expect that? Salty peat now, with soft orange and banana again. Caramel sweetness and soft spice linger in the end.
Overall: If this was a 15 year or older expression, I would be disappointed. However, for a 10 year old I think this is actually pretty good. Good to pour a dram or 2 of, easy on the nose and mouth and really quite a joy to taste. More than I expected, that’s for sure.
3½ stars (81-85 points range)