Highland Park

Highland Park 2003 Pre-Octave

Highland Park 2003 Pre-Octave (50.9%, Duncan Taylor, 2018)

  • Category: Island single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Highland Park distillery
  • Bottling: Duncan Taylor, The Octave, IB
  • ABV: 50.9%
  • Cost: ?

Highland Park 2003 Duncan Taylor Pre-Post-Octave

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.

Score 87/100

Don’t take my word for it:

Bloggers submit link to your review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.