By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
I have to be honest here, there are tons of Highland Parks on the market right now, but I guarantee none of them actually include the words on the label. That's because at some point in the last few years, the distillery dumped a huge quantity of stock (barrels from single production days vatted together to keep birthdays similar) and sold it off as unnamed Orkney stocks. Some of these stocks are very good and lots of them are just ok. Some of those stocks are also very affordable, while others are absolutely outrageously expensive, almost comically so. But, NO one is trying to sell us named Highland Park anymore. We've been lucky to have the Laings in our corner and last year's Old Particular 20 year was an extremely well liked and successful cask. The same whisky from Douglas Laing this year just one year older is costing 40% more per bottle. We'll probably have to pass. Yet somehow we've been able to get Hunter Laing to bottle an HP one year older than last year's OP at the exact same shelf price. Like many of the Hunter Laing Old & Rare, these casks are extremely small, split up between markets to stretch the goodwill they garner. While these stocks (and all the Sovereign Wax Top) were once intended for the well regarded Hunter Laing Old & Rare line, we've agreed to use this packaging so a national importer might have the option to use the other. We don't care about the bottle so much in the end as long as the juice inside is out of this world. Needless to say this whisky lives up to the expectations. The nose is crystalline and perfectly apportioned. Bold mineral, tangy citrus, chalk, saline, bright pure malt, slight mossy undertone. With water (only a drop please) even more chalk, sweet stewed pear, benedictine, tropical fruit and fresh rain on rocks. An HP for the Burgundy lover in all of us.