1999 Finest Orkney (Highland Park) 18 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1388306

Price: $99.99

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Tasting Notes

The Highland Park distillery has always been a favorite of aficionados. It's risen to international prominence over the last several years thanks to a strong marketing push from their owners, the Edrington Group. Their move toward highlighting the Orkney's Viking history has brought about plethora of unique "limited" offerings and special editions. While many have been very good, the general theme is fewer age statements and higher prices. But, something has happened over couple of years. An unbelievable amount of "no name" Orkney casks have popped up at bottlers across Scotland. This high quality malt was likely sold to raise money for Macallan's expensive new distillery. Most bottlers know that they've stumbled on a cash cow. Cask strength single barrel HP commands very high prices on the open market. So our suppliers didn't think anything of expecting to get £150 ($300+ stateside) per bottle for this stuff. And several bottlers have gone ahead and done just that 'cause why not? The juice is delicious and it sells well at the higher price. We want to offer value to our customers beyond what the regular market provides. If everyone can do it, we're probably not interested. So when our friend Doug McIver came to use with this wonderful cask at bargain basement prices, we knew we had a winner. Cask strength single cask HP 18 for $100 retail? We'd buy 10 of these if we could. This is the real deal, old school naked cask strength Orkney like nothing else on the market today.

Staff Reviews

  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a seductive single malt with pretty and subtle aromas and flavors. The nose has wax and honey with subtle floral and savory notes. In the mouth it is soft and round with delicate malt , honey and savory flavors. With a splash of water, this Milroy selection opens up a little with the savory notes more pronounced. In a few words this is easy and relaxed drinking pleasure.
  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    A rare treat at an unbelievable price. It starts with a sea breeze and soft golden malt on the nose, with a whisper of smoke. Then all at once the taste blows you away - rich and complex with ample smoke. Earthy citrus, dried fruit, sweet cereal, decadent fudge play like a symphony on the palate with saline, fennel and spice as counterpoint. This feels bright and concentrated, youthful even, but with a sophisticated finish that can only come with age.
  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    This superb single barrel of Highland Park represents one of the greatest values we've ever offered. We work hard last year to get the price down of a single cask of 20 year old HP also from a refill hogshead and that one sold for a cool $200. The great HP flood began nearly 3 years ago when I got an email from a supplier in Scotland offering us a parcel of THOUSANDS of Highland Park barrels at between 12-18 years old. I nearly choked on my morning coffee as a read the email. They wanted millions for the lot. While I briefly considered pitching the idea to our owners, I ultimately decided that we'd never be able to handle these quantities at our stores. So over the last couple of years we've watched as small lots of HP have popped up at bottlers across Scotland. Most had paid a premium to brokers for the prized malt. We weren't prepared to indulge them, unless they were superfluously good, like the Old Particular from last year. When we commit to a barrel everything needs to come into place - the flavor, the price, the packaging. It's gotta tick all the boxes. This is one of those whiskies. While not as heady or sherried as the OP, the purity and overt deliciousness of this cask is profound. The sweet and salt Orkney malt is vibrant and layered but somehow restrain on the nose. Flecks of oyster shell, lemon balm, earthy malt, honeysuckle and white pepper. On the palate that gorgeous Orkney peat pops up. Pristine and oceanic, without the iodine of Islay and something floral behind (heather of course). It's pretty thick on the palate- oily, camphor, more pepper, bitter oranges, and green teas. Long and lingering. With water the nose opens and the lemon becomes more prominent. The sweet malt falls away and more peat for some reason. All in all I'm not sure there's a better way to spend $100 right now in the store.


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