Whisky Review: Highland Park Dragon Legend
- Category: Island single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Highland Park Distillery
- Bottling: Edrington
- ABV: 43.1%
- Cost: £35
What they say
In DRAGON LEGEND – the richer and smokier side of Highland Park – we celebrate the stories of the Vikings who ruled our Orkney island home for over 600 years and whose virtues of courage and perseverance we uphold today.
For our ancestors, dragons were both feared and revered, possessing mystical powers but representing the forces of evil. According to legend, the Viking warrior Sigurd killed the evil serpent dragon Fafnir in a battle of great bravery and cunning. Licking the dragon’s blood from his thumb, Sigurd was granted powerful gifts of prophecy and wisdom and became one of the greatest heroes of the ancient Nordic sagas.
In DRAGON LEGEND we’ve created single malt as bold and unconventional as Sigurd himself. Our local peat from Hobbister Moor delivers an intense aromatic smokiness that’s melded with a spicy sweetness from long, slow maturation in
sherry seasoned oak casks.
…the earth shook all about him, and he snorted forth venom on all the way before him as he went; but Sigurd neither trembled nor was afraid at the roaring of him.
The Volsunga Saga
- NATURAL CASK-DRIVEN COLOUR (NO ADDITIVES) Deep gold, clear and bright (average colour tint 15.0)
- FLAVOURS Lemon peel | Honey | Vanilla | Warm spices | Freshly cut wood | Aromatic peat smoke
- ABV 43.1%
- VOLUME 700ml
- PRICE £40 RSP
What I say
Highland Park Dragon Legend edition aims to present the richer and smokier side of Highland Park.
Distilled from malted barley peated at Highland Park on Orkney using peat from Hobbister moor, and matured in sherry-seasoned oak casks.
I have always been partial to a sherried Highland Park thanks to an epiphanic dram at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society over a decade ago. I still recollect their Travel Retail Drakkar release fondly.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Old Bordeaux with copper highlights (14/20), medium-large tears leave medium legs
- Nose: Sweet and peat but with a faint hint of rubber too, floral, heather honey, rich malt seasoned with candied peel and a good dollop of vanilla, smoked and salted almonds, sweet ashen peat with a touch of heather brush fire and parma violets
- Taste: Sweet again on the palate, a wave of vanilla and candied lemon and orange peel, heather honey, fades into a gentle ashen peat and some malty barley, sandalwood, and occasionally some darker and more bitter suggestions of chocolate coated coffee-beans and smoked almonds, very occasionally that hint of dry rubber returns
- Finish: Long, sweet, cinnamon dusted vanilla pastries, heather and parma violets persist with cedar and sandalwood smoke
Well done Highland Park, taking some young peaty spirit and heavily sherry-maturing it has paid off. For me this still displays some very Highland Park specific flavours so will have mass appeal.
Explores the Orkney peat influence and highlights where it differs from Islay. Smoky without the phenols, this really does deliver something Orcadian in nature.
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