Highland Park has released a new exclusive single cask edition for London Gatwick airport and World Duty Free. It marks the opening of Gatwick’s new North terminal WDF store.
This Highland Park 2005 single cask #1140 was matured for 12 years in a refill sherry butt. It was seasoned for two years with Oloroso before arriving at Highland Park, and it was used to mature another whisky before this one went in. They ‘repair’ refill casks (mixing staves) which means they can’t state whether it was European or American oak.
Highland Park 12 yo 2005 (66,4%, OB for London Gatwick & World Duty Free 2017, refill sherry butt #1140, 540 btl.)
Nose: quite prickly (including a whiff of nail polish remover), but once you’re accustomed to the intensity, it shows nice fruity notes and lots of green, minty notes. Heather. Hints of nectarines, citrus freshness and fresh yellow plums. Orange peel. Nice vanilla notes. Then more white pepper, liquorice and ginger – rather active for a refill cask.
Mouth: again very intense with active oak. Still some peaches and sweet lemons before it bursts into ginger and pepper with a leathery, dry oaky feel. Echoes of virgin oak maturation. Better with water, rounding off the oak and at the same time highlighting the fruity notes. More herbal notes and sweet grapefruit now, a bit more smoke too.
Finish: long, spicy, bittersweet, with lingering ginger and a hint of chocolate.
An interesting cask which combines elements active American and European oak. Active oak in any case, making it a bit fierce at full strength, but creamier and fruitier with some water. Only available at Gatwick airport North terminal from 26th October for £ 104 (around € 120).