Highland Park Vintage 2001 was made for travel retail and duty free shops, high proportion matured in first-fill American oak casks to bring up the smokier side of Highland Park. It was my very first encounter with Highland Park. I actually didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t realize, that a low alcohol by level, travel retail dram could be so rich and characteristic.
I have to point out that Highland Park 2001 was part of our local whisky society tasting and there had been several whiskys before it. And still, with 40% ABV, it managed to give me such a rich ride.
Highland Park 2001 has it all: richness, delicacy and a little bit of the rough side as well. All the important factors, a good dram can have. Given to me while I wasn’t expecting. Like the very first encounter with a film named Fargo.
Fargo and the Coen brothers caught me off-guard positively. Now there’s a movie, that has bits of all the key factors, just like Highland Park 2001 has.
Nose: Honey and floral notes with vanilla and ginger rising delicately from the background.
Taste: Soft vanilla gets overtaken by sweet honey. Salt and nuts make the palate more complex, while fruity notes come to the side. Spices and peat add complexity as well.
Finish: Makes a lasting impression! Warming cinnamon with ginger. Spices with subtle traces of smoke buried in the deep.
Balance: Smooth, yet rough now and then. Complex whisky in good balance. Introducing the signatory, smoky side from Highland Park. I call it deep smoke and it’s brilliant!
Colour: Pale straw
Nose: 23 | Taste: 23 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22
Overall score: 90
Distillery: Highland Park
Region: Orkney Islands