A little over a year ago I tried the Highland Park 17 Year Old The Dark, which had matured on sherry casks and was supposed to represent autumn. I felt it tasted great, but was too expensive. More than 200 EUR for a 17 years old malt is just not right, I think. The counterpart – The Light, to represent the summer – is also 17 years old and bottled at the same 52.9% (so not cask strength) and 28.000 bottles strong. It matured on refill American oak. The price is the same. I hope the quality is as well.
The nose is soft and sweet on vanilla and roasted pineapple. Lots of heather, soft smoke and a bouquet of wild flowers. Reine Claude plums and pear juice, lemon and lime sherbet. Honey and mint. Pebbles on the beach. A summery shower. I daresay this is complex.
Great creamy mouthfeel. Vanilla custard and lemon juice go hand in hand with pepper, liquorice and candied ginger. Evolves from fruity and sweet towards brackish and it works like a magical spell. Walnuts and almonds, honey and pears and lots of spices from the oak. Yes, this is complex. In fact, this is magnificent!
The finish is medium long, nicely piquant and smoky with delicate citrus and lots of vanilla.
Damn. Fair is fair. This is an outstanding Highland Park!