The date often goes by without noticing, but this blog was started 7 December 2008, which means we’re celebrating the 13th birthday today. Oh my…!
Time to bring out the big guns. How about this Highland Park 1959 which was bottled in 1979 for Ferraretto Import in Italy? They had similar 1950s vintages at different ages: 17 Years, 18 Years, 21 Years… Remember at that time very few countries showed an interest in these kinds of single malts – the Italians really had a nose for jewels.
Highland Park 20 yo 1959 (43%, OB for Ferraretto Import 1979, dumpy bottle)
Nose: superb old sherry. Rich leathery notes, moss, a bit of silver polish (OBE), glazed chestnuts and slightly musty wood, like an old attic. Sweet herbal potions. Cocoa dusting and a kind of smoked chocolate. Proper Oloroso notes with more than a few drops of Jerez quina. Surprisingly there’s also a really fresh, slightly sour fruitiness (raspberry ganache, hints of passion fruits). Floral honey, a little eucalyptus too. So very complex and very rich for this modest ABV.
Mouth: quite herbal now, with more of that quina profile. Teak oil, chocolate with caramel filling, roasted nuts and mint leaves. A touch of rosemary. Hay. Sweetened espresso. Plenty of tobacco leaves. Light peaty notes, mixed with walnut wine, nutmeg and tea. Also light hints of sour berries and orange peels, but overall it’s less fruity than I expected, this is more about the herbal side.
Finish: quite long, with more chocolate, cinnamon and wood. Always this lightly medicinal side and mint too.
A priceless experience, really. This 1950s profile, with deep sherry and lots of tiny elements but very little oak. Just a fantastic whisky. See you next year.