Whisky Review: Highland Park 2003 Pre-Octave
- Category: Island single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Highland Park distillery
- Bottling: Duncan Taylor, The Octave, IB
- ABV: 50.9%
- Cost: ?
What they say
For many years, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd. has experimented in the use of differing cask sizes for the maturation of Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch whiskies. The research stemmed from a simple premise that there is more interaction between the wood and the spirit over a shorter period of time in a small cask than in a large cask, therefore allowing a more rapid “melding” of wood, air and alcohol.
What I say
Thanks to Duncan Taylor for the sample.
Distilled at Highland Park in 2003 and matured in an ex-bourbon cask.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Chardonnay gold (6/20), very slow, fine tears leave rare, fine legs
- Nose: Vanilla and heather honey, a gentle dry and floral/heathery smoke, elicits old sweet shop memories, dustings of icing sugar on strawberry bon bons and dried fruit pieces, beautiful, summer meadows and delicately cured ham with a hint of beechwood smoke.
- Taste: Medium-full bodied, Vanilla cream, lemon and strawberry bon bons still sweet and dusty but with a slightly citric edge not present on the nose, old floorboards, pone, rosewood, lavender and rosemary all woody herbal flavours, too sweet and creamy to detect much smoke here.
- Finish: Long, heather honey, herbal wood, pencil shavings and pot pourri.
A simply beautiful Highland Park expression, the bourbon cask has imparted a delicious sweet creamy vanilla to counter the herbal smoke, surprisingly I didn’t pick out much malt but it is there all along adding a lovely weight to this dram. A purists dream this one.
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