Info: This is an exclusive bottling for The Whisky Exchange by Gordon & MacPhail. It’s a 16 year old distilled in 1999… coming from cask #4260, a first-fill bourbon barrel, bottled at 56.6% abv.
Colour: Light summery gold, clear and bright.
Nose: Good and strong on your nose, don’t inhale too quickly. There’s a medium sweet floral fruit nose, hints of farmyard, citrus tones and burnt embers from honied heathery dry peat.
Palate: Although it’s strong, it’s easily introduced on to your palate with sweetness at the front, followed up by spices which layer the longer you hold it on your tongue. The peat here is reasonably restrained, but it’s there, it’s sweet and musty with wood smoke.
Finish: The finish is quite perfumed, warming, and long. There’s spices amongst creaminess, with a savoury oak tannin note right at the end.
Water: Releases more sweetness on the nose, powdered icing sugar. It reduces the strength and spice to make it much easier to hold in your mouth and enjoy increased caramelised sugar notes, the fragrant perfumes tamed into something (for me) that’s more enjoyable. The finish has a little fizz and lasts a long time. In my mind, water is a good addition to open up the dram a little.
Thoughts: It’s a cracker of a Highland Park, an always sought after distillery. Sweet, restrained yet fragrant peat, at a price that’s generous considering age and strength.
Available: The Whisky Exchange – £79.95
Thanks to TWE for the sample.
Comments or questions? Why not come and find me on twitter @steveprentice.