As with some other Edrington distilleries, I’m often a bit afraid to try (and buy) official sherry bottlings, but when certain independent bottlers select a certain cask, I’m definitely interested.
Decadent Drinks (the corporate alter-ego of WhiskySponge) recently presented this Highland Park 2007 single cask. It’s bottled from first-fill European oak, a flagship cask for Edrington of course.
Highland Park 13 yo 2007 (57,1%, OB for Decadent Drinks 2021, first-fill European oak sherry hogshead#4613, 349 btl.)
Nose: I get why it is presented as an ‘old school’ profile. It’s got plums, mulled cherries and blackberry liqueur but also nice tobaccos and deeper notes of coffee and roasted hazelnuts, herbal tea and five spice. Sooty, earthy smoke in the background. Then some leather and a very subtle hint of jasmin, lifting the entire nose again. Very clean and attractive.
Mouth: somehow more elegant than expected. It has this typical heavily toasted oaky touch but also a nice fruity side (sultanas but also raspberries now), cinnamon and mint, adding to the fresh side. Loads of tobacco notes. A little worn leather again. Some ginger and hints of Earl Grey tea. Not as bulky and meaty than some other European oak HP casks.
Finish: long, on herbs and rasisins, as well as After Eights.
I can’t keep track of all these official single casks for countries, retailers and clubs, but this is certainly one of the best I’ve tried. It even reminds me of the old 18 Year Olds in a way. Recommended, and still available from Decadent Drinks.