Second in a series of two, the chaps from Highland Park have put together something quite outside of their comfort zone; the FIRE edition. Matured for 15 years in ex-Port casks, some of which were newly built and seasoned with port for an (unmentioned) period of time, others which were used shortly for the finishing of another whisky for three to six months before refilling them with the Highland Park spirit. From this, I would have expected a slight red-pinkish hue, but the best I can do is a hint of orange. No biggie, colour isn’t something I worry about a lot, but still, expectations eh..?
45.2% abv, €230
Nose: we are welcomed with the scent of sweet and fresh ripe yellow fruits. Mangos, fresh apricots and peaches,to be followed by a handfull of dried fruit, mostly cranberries and sultanas. A gentle, creamy nose, with a touch of some spices, cinnamon, star-anise, and the slightest hint of liquorice root, nothing that shouts fire, really…
Palate: sweet fruit again, although this time the dried fruits have won first place. Predominantly cranberries and sultanas again, only hints of dried mango slivers and apricots. A spicy mouthful of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, and some spicy white pepper. Still no fire – a creamy layer covers the palate.
Finish: more spices here, and a little fire appears in the form of spices like nutmeg, a hint of cinnamon and allspice. A touch of smoke and liquorice root linger quite a while.
Conclusion: no big wow factor or a mouth full of fire, ash and smoke. A great dram nonetheless, but I am not sure I would find enough reason to spend this amount of money, safe for a place in a collection. A Highland Park matured in anything else than ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon is a rare find, and would fit there nicely. High expectations because of the name and the pricing made me enjoy this less than it probably deserved, but I am happy I got a chance to taste it.
.I nicked a sample of this during the Dutch press event in Amsterdam