Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tasting: Highland Park. Dark Origins

Highland Park Dark Origins
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Non Chill Filtered; Natural Color

Distillery: Highland Park
Age: NAS
Region: Island (Orkney)
ABV: 46.8%
US Price: $70
Release: Ongoing
Cask: 80% first fill sherry, 20% refill sherry

Points: 85/100

Today we find ourselves at the northernmost distillery in Scotland, Highland Park.  Located in Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands, Highland Park is well known for their Viking and Norse mythology themes which is very important to Orkney. Sister distillery to The Macallan, Highland Park ages most of their spirit exclusively in sherry casks with exceptions being some of their limited edition bottlings.

The Highland Park Dark Origins is not one of these exceptions, but it is exceptional. Dark Origins was introduced to their core range in 2014 and is an NAS expression. As it turns out, we will begin to see this bottle and their standard 15 year begin to disappear from the shelves in April of this year as both will be replaced with new expressions. Let's hope they're just as good or better!

Sweet, lots of sherry notes, dark fruits, cherries and slightly chocolatey. Sharp with hints of toffee and butterscotch.

A bit of a bite initially on the palate but balances out quickly as the sweet sherry notes arrive. Dark chocolate, hazelnuts and cherries.  Peat smoke but not overwhelming.  Not a complex development and a little harsh. I can tell there is some young whisky in there but still very enjoyable.

Rich and sweet. Fades away and your are left with just the smoke. Medium length finish.

Photo & Review By: Cody Diefenderfer