Saint Magnus is the second part of the Highland Park tribute to the Inga saga (the first release was called Earl Magnus). All of these releases are bottled in a hand-made brown bottle with a label design based on a 150 years old bottle of Highland Park.
Saint Magnus was matured mainly in Spanish sherry oak, of which 20% were first fill casks. It is bottled at 55%.
The third edition in this series, Highland Park Haakon, will be bottled as an 18 year-old. Expected in the second half of 2011.
Highland Park 12 yo 1998 Saint Magnus (55%, OB 2010, 12.000 btl.)
Nose: starts with a few unfresh smells, especially in comparison with yesterday’s 1986 by Daily Dram. Hints of rubber and meat. This is not uncommon for sherry releases, but I have troubles with it sometimes. After a while it fades and shows more classic dried fruits and honey lacquered meat (overall not very sweet though). A little yeast. Apples and cinnamon. Heather. Subtle peat. Some barbecue smoke, leather and plenty of spices.
Mouth: very spicy (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) with toffee notes, apples and a hint of wax. A little pepper. Some bitter liquorice. In the end there’s something like burnt oranges and still some rubber.
Finish: rather long, dry / bitter and sherried with peat smoke.
I had high hopes for this, but they’re not entirely fulfilled. It’s nicely coastal and relatively peaty but I’m more a fan of fresh, juicy (second fill?) sherry influence. Quite expensive as well: sold for € 100.