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In my short time as a whisky freak, no malt has grown on me as much as Highland Park 18YO. I first had this at a bar, and was not impressed. I suppose compared to some of the peatier malts I had, it just could not stand out. Several months later, I tried a sampler bottle of the 18. Without the distraction of more overpowering malts, I thought, "Nice." Nice enough to buy a bottle. It was good, but not a repeat purchase. But then, I did purchase it again. And again. And as I drink this yet again tonight, I feel compelled to share these thoughts.
Beautiful aroma, full of roasted sweet meats, honey, saffron, peanut brittle. Very little smoke and peat, but it is there - if you are willing to wait for it.
Sweet with a slight burn, and some salinity. Hazelnuts and nougat. A nice wood presence, which is slightly drying and only bitter enough to prevent the whisky from becoming cloying.
Finishes with orange peel, and just a bit of anise. Nice.
Sadly, the price of this beauty is rising. What was regularly available at 100, is now 130. So I advise, do what I do - Buy those hundred dollar bottles up now. Once you become hooked, you'll not want to be without this one.