Highland Park Ice Edition is a brand-new limited edition of Orkney’s distillery. It is aged for 17 years, mostly in rebuilt first-fill bourbon casks that had been fitted with virgin American oak cask ends.
This release follows on from the Valhalla collection and honours another Norse myth: the Ice Realm of Niflheim. A Highland Park Fire edition is coming up in 2017 to complete this two-part series, but I don’t think the Norse theme is about to end soon.
Although some will say it’s overpackaged, I have to say the bottle looks quite spectacular. It comes in a wooden cradle which resembles a mountain.
Update: there’s now also a Highland Park Fire Edition
Highland Park 17 yo ‘Ice Edition’ (53,9%, OB 2016, 30.000 btl.)
Nose: a lot of vanilla, pineapple and mint, as expected from all this first-fill bourbon wood. Also green apple, papaya and unripe mango. Hardly any smoke. Some pencil shavings, peanuts and hints of fruit blossom. Overall quite nervous.
Mouth: rather pungent, with the peat smoke coming first and a vanilla sweetness and fudge in a second wave. Banana and pineapple again. Orange syrup. Ginger, pepper and liquorice. A few rough edges maybe, with a spirity / woody kick and grassy herbs, but it leaves a nice, warm aftertaste.
Finish: not too long, oaky, slightly honeyed, with some spicy heat and menthol.
A nice whisky, perfectly in line with what you’d expect from the cask recipe. Less distillery character though, and the pricing is quite steep if you think away the beautiful packaging. Officially around € 250.