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I've read so many reviews on the HP18 (Highland Park, not Harry Potter, come on people!!) I figured, enough it enough - I have to try just to see what all the hoop-lah was about.
Last week I went to The Scottish Arms in St. Louis Missouri. If you've never been, go. Now. More than 150 drams (Scottish, Japanese, American, you name it) on their whisky menu - amazing! Well, while I was there I tried the HP18 and all I could say was..."eh..."
PLEASE READ ON
I realized that the whisky was so sub-stellar just because of the type of glass they used (should have brought my own Glencairn) and the fact that I had food getting in the way of the tasting. Note to self: only taste when you're either A) done with food or B) haven't had food yet (though on an empty stomach... that can be...fun!).
So, I bought a bottle the other day and decided to have some this morning. What a way to start the day!!
Nose: Not as smokey as I had anticipated. Very sweet smelling, almost juicy with an underlying smokiness to it. Second whiff: More of the same, this time a little more smoke but now the oak came out a bit and something almost tropical - overripe banana perhaps? I couldn't wait for the 3rd whiff...
Palate: Absolutely one of the most succulent drops I've ever had! The smoke was underlying but kept peaking it's head out and was balanced so well by the sweetness. Sherry notes but thankfully not overly so. The age come out a bit long vanilla oak notes and more sweet smoke. G-d damn, I'm in heaven!
Finish: Soft and silky, warming (which is much needed as it was 33deg F this morning!), smokey and long.
Those who know me now I am a devoted fan of the Glenmorangie lines but I have to say, with the exception of the D'or (which remains to be my dram of choice), this has knocked all of the other Glenmos out of the way! Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's because I had it in the morning, I don't know. I can tell you that I think I'm in love.