Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tasting: Highland Park 15 Year

Highland Park 15 year
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: Highland Park
Age: 15 years
Region: Island (Orkney)
ABV: 43%
US Price: $80
Release: Discontinued
Cask: American Oak ex-sherry casks

Points: 82/100

Back at the famous Orkney distillery we are reviewing the recently discontinued 15 year old.  A stand out from its younger and older siblings, the 15 year is aged in American oak ex-sherry casks as opposed to European oak.  This gives it a much lighter nose and palate with fresh fruits, vanilla and honey, than you would find in the 12 and 18 year old expressions.  A true middle child.

As with the Dark Origins bottling, the 15 year will start to phase out early this year and is already hard to find in most places.  Whatever the reason for discontinuing these expressions I feel they made the right call with this one.  While it is an easy sipping and enjoyable dram it is probably my least favorite between it and the 12 and 18 year.  Worth the $80 price tag?  Probably not.  I'd easily choose the 12 year over this or spend the extra money for the spectacular 18 year.

Initially sweet cereal notes with hints of wet hay, sulphur and chlorine.  Give it time to open up and it bursts with vanilla, honey and heather.

Very light.  Sweet and citrusy with honey and floral notes.  The sweetness slowly fades and gives way to the smoke and dryness.

Short finish.  Dry sherry notes and smoke.

Photo & Review: Cody Diefenderfer


Highland Park reviews on Son of Winston Churchill: