15 Dec 2011
Highland Park Earl Haakon
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Highland Park
Earl Haakon is the third and last release in the Magnus series. While I didn’t like the previous 1998 Saint Magnus, this one is older and was well received. Haakon was the cousin of the influential 11th century viking Magnus.
A blind sample was sent to me by Marc (thanks) and my first impression wasn’t very good. I gave it a second try though.
Highland Park 18 yo ‘Earl Haakon’
(54,9%, OB 2011, 3300 btl.)
Nose: sweet with a lot of red fruit aromas: redcurrant jam, damson, pomegranate maybe. Slightly candied. So far so good. Quite some spicy notes (ginger, cinnamon). In the background: bonfire on a beach. Mouth: very peppery and gingery attack. Starts fairly dry but after a while it develops a nice sweetness (dark sugar, raisins). Unfortunately there’s also a sharpness and sourness of winey notes (plum wine). Hints of Seville oranges and chocolate, with a faint coastal hint and traces of peat towards the end. Finish: spicy, oaky, quite long and rather dry.
My notes are still the same, but my initial score (“around 80”) is now a little more on the positive side. It’s probably the best of the Magnus releases, but given the price and hype, I’m still not convinced. Around € 185.