Even when they’re unnamed, it’s easy to recognize Highland Park releases. Most of the indie bottlings are great. We’re having a 2003 single cask bottled in the Old Particular range from Douglas Laing.
Probably Orkney’s Finest 16 yo 2003 (48,4%, Douglas Laing ‘Old Particular’ 2019, DL13371, 371 btl.)
Nose: a mix of oily notes, wet gravel and warm wax, mixed with HP’s trademark honey sweetness. A whiff of smoke and an earthy, almost farmy edge. Peaches. Some creamy vanilla and spice from the oak.
Mouth: perfect strength, with a nice oily texture. Starting on spicy and herbal notes before it moves into bright and sparkling fruity notes. Pink grapefruit, apples, sweet lemons. Hints of hay, ginger and nutmeg. Salty touches as well, like salted caramel.
Finish: medium, on herbal notes, citrus and late chocolate.
All good: a pretty classic middle-aged Highland Park offering nice fruity notes and really good value for money. Still available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.