Highland Park releases single casks with frightening regularity for an airport, city, club or even private person. Today I will try a refill butt from 2004, bottled for the famous Vinothek Massen from Luxembourg. The ABV is out of this world. And the color is pretty nice as well.
The nose starts a bit dirty, to be honest. An old carpet on which a bottle of Worcestershire sauce was spilled. Then some Maggimix chicken broth with lots of celery salt, walnuts and went earth. Quite umami. It took me quite a bit of effort to discover any sweetness in there, but with some patience I do get some hazelnuts, praline and honey. Adding water makes it a bit darker. But also gives it a touch of rubber. Wellington boots after a walk in the forest. Oh well.
OMG, This is a kick to the teeth! Very alcoholic and piquant on cloves, chicken broth and walnuts. The sweetness transpires a bit faster in the guise of candied raspberries and roasted nuts. Chili peppers make it a bit too hot, so I am adding a bit of water. Diluted it becomes creamy, more accessible and more sweet. I also get some soot and hessian sack, but I do like it more than without water. Chocolate kicks in after a few moments.
The finish is long, dark and sweet at the start, but soon the umami and even a herbal note kicks in. Green garden herbs and a bitterness at the death. But with water the finish is even longer, piquant and a warming, but also sweeter which I think is an advantage.
What a beast! But adding water is really necessary to be able to enjoy this. At what ABV did this little animal go into the cask, I wonder?