Highland Park 18 Year Old Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Introduced to the Highland Park portfolio in 1997. Gentle peat, soft toffee, floral notes, and honey on the beautifully fragrant nose. Superbly balanced on the velvety palate, with brittle toffee, stewed fruits, peat, honey, and a hint of coffee. Smoke and more toffee mingle in the long, elegant finish. (Vol. 21, #1)
This Scotch is a big boy—look for assertive, brawny flavors and alcohol burn. However, it still has nuance. Aging in Sherry oak casks draws out a dark amber cast and rich caramel, honey and dried-fruit aromas. The flavor grows more interesting with repeated sips—piquant peaty notes are joined by deep, complex toffee.
This would be very good if only for its blatant sweet and fruity flavors, yet it roams into the realm of the exceptional when you begin to notice the spice, toffee and leather on the nose. Fruity on the palate, this allows you to distinguish a tangerine character, then notes of Christmas cake and nuts. The finish suddenly goes spicy with anise, adding more nuts as it plays out for several minutes.
Highland Park 18 Year Old is an exceptionally fine whisky that builds on the world-class reputation already enjoyed by the 12 Year Old. All the Orcadian hallmarks of Highland Park are here - the smokiness, the peat, the heather-honey - plus it has gained a glorious richness and spiciness through its longer cask maturation. Its elegance and smoothness make the 18 year old a delight to the malt whisky connoisseur. One of F Paul Paccult's Designated Top Scotch Whiskies (2007).