Mar 1, 2018

Highland Park Full Volume...

Highland Park Full Volume (47.2%): Hearing about an all ex-bourbon matured Highland Park release is nothing but music to my ears... In spite of all the cheesy marketing campaign and over-designed packaging I grabbed a bottle as soon as it hit the shelves... Now looking at the box of this thing I wonder if Marshall Amps were ever approached or were asked permission from during the design process though. Some might argue that it is a pretty generic guitar amp and cabinet design but you can clearly see that it is inspired specifically by Marshall JMP amp heads and 1960A cabinets. I think at this point it is safe to assume that Edrington Group wouldn't be that accommodating if Marshall Amps would use the exact shape and size of a Highland Park bottle in their own ads and put a Marshall label on.

Anyway, let's talk about the liquid in the bottle. It is a 17 year old whisky and they vatted a total of 481 ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads which were all filled in 1999 to create the batch. Cannot wait to pour...

Oh wait... Two more things before the fun starts: First I decided that I am not a fan of opaque bottles. I really like to see how much liquid is left in my bottle all the time. But I did love that twist-lock cork stopper very much... Great touch HP...

Color: Pale yellow gold with thick and slow moving legs.

Nose: Sweetened lemon juice, thick woolen scarf and dry straw bedding. Vanilla, NY diner style lemon meringue pie and strawberries. A big tropical fruit bowl: Alphonso mangoes, fresh pineapple slices and lots of papayas. Baby bananas, campfire and chimney soot. Adding water kinda ruined the party. All the fruit notes mostly got stripped away and we are left with hay, straw and soot only.

Palate: Less fruity but more peaty and peppery on the palate. Lemon again but this time joined by tangerines as well. Earl grey green tea, white pepper and lemon twist. Again campfire, smoke and fireplace ash. Delicate mouthfeel... I expected a thicker texture after watching those thick legs around the glass but now I am afraid to add water but will try. Yeah, it really thinned out the texture... It also muted the charcoal and smoke quite a bit. Understood, no water for this dram.

Finish: Long... Charcoal, firewood smoke and black pepper.

Overall: There is no point to discuss further... It's a no brainer. A very solid ex-bourbon cask matured 17 year old Highland Park carrying an amazingly reasonable price tag. It is smoky, citrusy and earthy. Yes, it certainly wouldn't be the first choice of Highland Park fans who like their whisky from the sherry casks and I understand that but it is right up my alley... There must be a lot of bottles around but it is a one time release, so you never know. I might go ahead and secure a second bottle for myself before it's too late. Highly recommended...


Price: $90