This Highland Park 8 Year Old was bottled in the 1970s (1978 or later, based on the Italian tax label) for their Italian importer Ferraretto. Back then very few countries were into single malts and Italy cherry-picked some legendary releases (check the Highland Park 1959 for Ferraretto for instance).
Highland Park 8 yo (43%, OB late 1970s, Ferraretto Import)
Nose: quite discrete but really complex. Starts on burlap and wet fabrics, damp ropes and old leather bound books. Then some cough sweets. Honey and ferns. Quite some yellow apple in the background, with bright kiwi and hints of meadow flowers. A hint of metal polish as well.
Mouth: modest impact but rather coastal, with nice salty notes and abundant grainy notes. Slowly evolving towards herbs and heather. Cloves and bay leaves. Walnuts. A whiff of acrid smoke, roasted coffee beans and tobacco leaves. Mid-palate it develops some vegetal notes as well as some black pepper and dark tea.
Finish: a little short perhaps, slightly grainy and still salty, with gingery notes and some tobacco.
A tasty old-school whisky. Maybe not as great as the 12 yo expressions from the same series (which appear to have more sherry influence) but nonetheless a quality daily dram. Auction material, although The Whisky Exchange can also provide it. I got a sample from Mark Littler, thanks!