Whisky Review: Highland Park 2003 Post-Octave
- Category: Island single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Highland Park distillery
- Bottling: Duncan Taylor, The Octave, IB
- ABV: 50.7%
- 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 matured in an ex-bourbon cask and transferred to a sherry octave cask for an indeterminate finishing period.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Amber gold (8/20), slightly larger/medium tears run a little quicker but leave ultra-fine legs.
- Nose: Candyfloss, mashed bananas with muscovado sugar, suede leather, toffee, rum & raisin fudge, heather honey, dusty barley grist and old oak wood.
- Taste: Spiced heather honey, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg develop into very sweet raisins and dried fruits, white-chocolate dipped strawberries and raspberry jam, drying oak wood and sandalwood, echoes of the lavender and rosemary and heathery brush fire smoke.
- Finish: Long, drying, residual sweetness adds to the woody and herbal notes, woody lavender stems
Having taken an already superb whisky and finished it for presumably only a short period (of all the samples this appeared to have the least difference/increase in colour), sadly there is too much spice on the initial palate for me and I struggled to decide whether I liked this one more or less than the Pre-Octave sample. I guess I was hoping for more here which didn’t come but this is still undeniably a good whisky.
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