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Finally got the chance to try the 30yo of my favourite range in Scotch whisky, all thanks to a friend of mine and a sample bottle.
Nose: Different from the younger HP's, according to the distiller this is due to them using more refill sherry casks instead of first fill, this pulls the usually Sherry influence back. Very nice floral notes, juicy honeycomb, some fruit (mango, rockmelon, cantaloupe ect.), notes of Heather and sweet malts, lightly toasted breads, some dates and toffee, fire roasted marshmallow. Very well balanced and sweet.
Palate: thick, rich and delicious, notes of fresh toasted bread and barley, some slight citrus, thick dark honey, salted caramel, roasted bacon fat, some creamy expresso and roasted almonds, bittersweet chocolate, creamy fudge, balancing the sweetness is an undercurrent of earthiness, campfire cinders and gentle peat-smoke. So well balanced, this is a palate where you can pick out a new note on every sip.
Finish: Very long, salted caramel again, rich dark toffee, sweet toasted malts, some white tea, the creamy coffee from the palate fades away into the finish, gentle notes of campfire sewn throughout the sweetness.
And just like that I want a full size bottle of my own. One of my favourite things about Highland Park is that some whisky's can be described as 'peaty, sherryed, honeyed, Maritime, floral, malty, ect.' Highland Park seems to have found a way to embody all of these traits into their whisky and hold them together with perfect balance. Thats what makes this whisky so damn good, all the notes seem perfect together with no flavour overpowering the other. More restrained on the sherry aspect then the younger whisky's HP's range but far more complex. One of my favourite whisky's I've tried so far.