Single malt whisky - tasting notes

19 Sep 2013

Highland Park 1988 (Cadenhead)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Highland Park

Among Cadenhead’s Small Batch releases, this Highland Park 1988 was probably most talked about. After Serge’s 92/100, they sold like hotcakes. The Cadenhead shop also sold smaller 20cl ‘cask ends’ bottles of this whisky.

 

Highland Park 25yo 1988 CadenheadHighland Park 25 yo 1988
(55,7%, Cadenhead Small Batch 2013, sherry butts, 1086 btl.)

Nose: alright then. Really excellent. Blackberry jam, cherries, heather honey and quite some smoke for starters. Spanish fig bread. Roasted nuts and hints of coffee beans. Leather. A little library dust. Very light coastal touches too. Water brings out cigar leaves and hints of cedar oak. Especially the juiciness of the red fruits and the subtle smoke are really beautiful. Mouth: quite powerful. The fruits are still there, Christmas cake and Mon Cherie. Rum & raisins. Soon taken over by spices (pepper, clove) and a little resin. Gets herbal before calming down on caramelized nuts and a leathery dryness. Overall quite dry, but water helps and amplifies tobacco, coffee and honey. Finish: long, with all the sherry goodness fading slowly.

A lovely nose full of juicy sherry – no one will deny that. Some will find the palate too dry, but for me it’s not out of bounds. I hesitated to go beyond 90 points, eventually I did it because it takes water pretty well. Originally around € 110, now sold out.

Score: 91/100

Highland Park 1988 (Cadenhead) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-09-19
  • dr.pfahl

    1086 bottles were sold out so quickly…???
    Maybe see a lot in auctions…

  • Troy

    Normally I am not much into the appearance (at least I didn’t think so until now) – but these new Cadenhead ‘small batch’ bottles are so ‘dumpy’ looking. It seems a shame to have such good whisky in such a vessel. And yes, I am fully aware that this statement is hypocritical as typically I would always preach that it’s purely about the juice in the bottle…not the bottle itself. Yet, I can’t understand this one.

  • Bishlouk

    I personnaly like this “dumpy style” bottle shape for the small batch. Well, just like the juice inside, all is personnal taste matters ;-)

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Blair Athol 1993 (First Editions)
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Ben Nevis 1997 (Abbey Whisky)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1598 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.