Type: Single malt whisky
Origin: Orkney, Scotland
Malt Mileage rating:
Aged: 12 years
World Duty Free very kindly sent me a sample of “Highland Park Cask 1140 – HWF038”, and the plan was that I would participate in a live Twitter tasting hosted by Highland Park’s David Francis. The sample did not arrive on time for the live Twitter tasting. But, the little package of liquid sunshine eventually arrived at my door. Now the whisky sits in my Glencairn glass, ready to smell and taste.
This Highland Park Single Cask is exclusive to World Duty Free at Gatwick Airport in London.
Nose: My nose hairs are singed by a fiery, rich and complex Scottish malt that bursts with layers of aroma – caramel, vanilla fudge, raisins and an array of dark dried fruit, cocoa, burnt sugars and tobacco. As I move the glass away from my nose, I can smell soft ash and smoke.
Water seems to unlock more sweetness. Adding a couple of tea spoons of water to a dram of this whisky, I can smell raisin cake, dried prune and figs, soft wood vanillas and creamy barely. It is sugary, with a subtle herbal dimension of pine and fresh rosemary.
Taste: Mercy! Its like my palate just got napalmed. There is an explosion of winy and rummy sugars (first fruit cake and sweet winy notes, then brown sugar, raisins, prune and dates), dark chocolate and soft herbal notes, then soft smoke and creaminess linger as the flavours settle. There is a subtle smoked flavour to it (think smoked salmon, Russian caravan tea, etc).
Add water, and I get more barley with pine, fruit cake, star anise, and peppery spices towards the finish; the caramel rich sugary sweetness is still there in all its glory.
Finish: Dark chocolate, anise seed and cherry liqueur fade into tobacco, ash, smoked tea and sour cream.
Adding water to this whisky seems to make it sweeter, releasing licorice and wood spices (cinnamon in particular).