Appearance: Natural colour; dark red golden, clear and bright
Nose: Very rich, mature oak; chocolate; fudge
Palate: Full, rich burst of flavour; soft honey; nutty toffee
Finish: Rich, long and surprisingly sweet for its age
Malt Advocate 94 points - An exemplary Highland Park. There’s certainly plenty of sherry influence in this whisky and it is complementary. (About 2/3 of the whisky was aged on sherry casks, and a lot of these casks were second fill.) The whisky enjoys a delicious foundation of toffee, fruit (lemon, plum, blueberries) and dark chocolate. It continues to develop and evolve on the palate, with emerging notes of heather, nougat, lavender, delicate peat and complex dried spice (especially cinnamon and nutmeg) to balance the sweeter notes. The extra alcohol is also a bonus, providing a drying balance to the whisky’s sweetness. Whiskies like this one remind me why I fell in love with whisky in the first place.
(Fall 2005) Reviewed by: John Hansell
Ultimate Beverage Challenge 96 points - Rich and nutty on the nose, there are aromas of smoked honey and a slightly floral perfume. Concentrated flavors on the palate are of cedar, clove, caramel and vanilla. The texture starts smooth and finishes with suede-like sweetness. (Apr 2014)
Wine Enthusiast 96 points - The nose offers subtle aromas of unsweetened coconut, bacon fat, and dark toffee with additional toasty scents of apple crisp, dates and oak. The palate entry is rich and fresh; the midpalate features flavors of bacon fat, dark honey, fudge, and bitterswe
— P.P. (4/1/2006) — 96-100 (May 2006)
Until the launch of the 40 year old, this was the flagship variant of the Highland Park range was first released in April 2005. By its very nature, this whisky is only available in limited quantities. It is, however, worth seeking out as the ultimate expression of the distillery’s character.