Mar 15, 2014

Highwood Ninety 20yo...

Highwood Ninety 20yo (45.0%): And a much older expression from Highwood Distillers this time... I really liked their 5yo. release I reviewed yesterday but had a few problems with the rushed aging efforts due to overpowering wood influence even at a very young age. Since distilleries didn't have these kind of methods twenty years ago I have very high hopes about this sample. Needless to say this one also comes from my  #DavinTT2 Canadian Whisky prize basket. Color:  Pretty light in color in spite of its age. Bright light yellow, like white grape juice. Nose: Roasted crispy rye, warm German rye bread, mineral spirits and acetone. Dry and chalky: dried dates, powdered cloves and garam masala. Boiled corn on the cob with melting butter on. Pretty beautiful... Palate: Very creamy mouthfeel. Cotton candy, spearmint Altoids (green can) and kerosene lamp. Near Eastern sweet spice mix: allspice, clove, star anise, cinnamon and mild curry. Nice toasted, not charred oak notes, high end Manhattan cocktail and burnt orange peel. Finish: Long but gentle. Sweet cinnamon syrup, burnt hardwood sticks and thick, old cream sherry. Overall: This is a beautiful whisky. As Canadian and old school as it gets on the nose and on the palate. Masterfully and patiently aged. It's been a true treat. I hope these old barrels didn't get damaged during the flood last Summer. If you are lucky to spot the bottle somewhere you should definitely get it without thinking twice. By the way, kinda off the topic but I would like to start a conversation about Canadian whisky bottles sometime later... What is the story of this crazy late 70's, early 80's aesthetic in bottle designs which took the whole industry in Canada under its influence? When and how did that happen? Any ideas?