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 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.