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Highland Park Vintage 2001 – distilled 2001, bottled 2012. This was made exclusively for global travel retail and duty free markets. It was my first taste of the Highland Park range and to be honest, I didn't know what to expect. What I didn't expect was the fact that this became one of my Top 10 whiskies so far.
Highland Park 2001 is rich and delicate with a nice small bit of roughness on the background. This had ounces of every important factor, that a good whisky can have. Delicacy, rich flavors and roughness. And they all came to me unexpected.
That's why I relate this whisky experience to my first encounter with the movie Fargo. Just like Fargo, Highland Park 2001 caught me off-guard in a good way. One of the best parts was that the 2001 vintage version introduced a smokier side of Highland Park.
Nose: Honey with floral notes and vanilla. Some ginger there as well.
Taste: Softly the vanilla is taken over by sweet honey. Smoothly salt and nuts combined with hints of fruit come to the palate. Spices and peat sign, seal and deliver.
Finish: Spicy cinnamon and ginger with subtle traces of spices and smoke. All with a lasting impression.
Balance: Dry but smooth and yet complex. Most important the complexity is in balance. Great whisky indeed.