By: Andrew Whiteley
K&L Staff Member
Oh happy surprise! In truth, I didn't know this cask was coming. This barrel was arranged for well over a year ago by my predecessor, David Driscoll. Obviously when our distributor informed me it was here, after a moment to collect myself, I was elated and immediately popped open a bottle when it arrived. The vast majority of our single casks of Scotch come to us by way of independent bottlers, but this Highland Park is direct from the distillery. 12 years old, aged in a refilled hogshead (from the intense dark color it was almost certainly only the second usage), and bottled at a blazing 64.5% ABV, this is one of the most powerful and heady Highland Park's I've encountered. It's difficult to say just how peaty this cask is. On the nose, it's mostly dry and dusty sherry notes that come through. On the palate, particularly the finish, the bright and clean heather peat that makes HP so famous is on fine display. It melds perfectly with the more savory aspects of the sherry and finishes just a touch sweet. In short, this is a rocking sherry bomb, full throttle, smoky and lucious Highland Park. What more could I have hoped for in a holiday surprise?