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Highwood Ninety Decades of Richness 20 Year Old

Better Highwood

0 2086

@talexanderReview by @talexander

14th Nov 2017

1

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This one is a new(ish) expression of Highwood's Ninety 20 expression, called "Decades of Richness" (for some reason? Maybe an anniversary?) I believe it's distilled from corn, but if I'm wrong let me know. And of course it's 20 years old.

The colour is a light caramel. On the nose the caramel is very soft, not cloying at all - and the spice (more chili than the expected rye) is more pronounced. The oak is softer than you would think, given the age. Mint, eucalyptus and freshly cut grass. A drop of water brings the rye out a bit more. Very nice - not a powerhouse but extremely elegant.

On the palate the spice shows through the gentle toffee and vanilla, backed by a hard rye profile in the background. Pine. Creme brûlée. Buttery. Water does the same to the palate as it does to the nose - more rye, less caramel. Pleasant and enjoyable.

The finish is a bit too muted, with toasted oak and white pepper. It's a very nice, decent whisky. I think I preferred the regular Ninety 20 over this "Decades of Richness" bottling (though it's probably the same juice). Compared to the Centennial 10 Year Old, it's lighter in colour (which is interesting), but more complex and less cloying. Even though it's distilled with corn rather than wheat, it shares a lot of notes with the 10 Year Old; presumably they were matured in similar casks.

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20 comments

Astroke commented

This has/will always be in my bar. Would like to pick up the Canadian Rockies 21 but refuse to pay the ridiculous price at the LCBO for the same juice as Ninety 20.

5 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Isn't this just the 90/20 with the new label? Is it significantly different? I'm nursing a bottle of that one. Maybe a H2H would come in handy.

5 days ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, H'wood Ninety 20 YO holds a special place in my cabinet. It is the base for many of my blends. My friend Alberta Tim refers to it as a canvas. I love this whisky.

5 days ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Astroke, I have the CR 21 at 46% abv, but only because it was $68...not $130. It is the same juice.

5 days ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan I thought it would be too, so I asked @paddockjudge if it was the same juice. He said it was but that it tastes different. I remember loving the old Ninety 20, but though I liked this one I didn't think it was as strong as I remembered the old one. I'd have to do a side-by-side to really know, but I'm not planning on buying both bottles any time soon so that may never happen...

5 days ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander,

I took one for the team, actually got through two of the white label. I found the white label version slightly sweeter and brighter than the burgundy coloured label. Both are great!

There was a batch of Century Lot 15/25 that put them both to shame, but none of them come close to the enjoyment I derive from Century 25 YO Calgary Stampede 100th Anniversary Ltd Ed....all are the same juice just not the same bond lot.

5 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander Well, if your open bottle would like to meet my open bottle...

5 days ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan Alas, that was the very last of my open bottle...

5 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander Then remember how it tasted when you taste from my bottle.

5 days ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

5 days ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan That was a line from a movie! Guess the movie! (no looking it up!!)

5 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander You're no Bogie....

Is there anything comparable from Menashe? I still want to see that film, preferably without subtitles.

5 days ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan It's on iTunes - I presume you can turn off the subtitles if you want.

4 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander Not Netflix...pity. Maybe I'LL buy the DVD when it's released. It seems worth having.

4 days ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan Yes, I'm sure we'll sell it to Netflix. I don't think we are doing a DVD release.

4 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Who watches DVDs nowadays anyway....?

4 days ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan Ha - that's exactly why we now only do DVD / blu-ray for our larger titles.

4 days ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Nozinan I have an opened bottle of the white label that I would gladly compare to the old one if you have one.

4 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

That would be a great comparison on a cold December evening...

4 days ago 1Who liked this?

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