Home » Highland Park

Tag: Highland Park

Singlemalting #235 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 9 Orkney 10 Year Old

Welcome to da islands mon…. sorry wrong islands. Welcome to the almost perpetually wet, stormy, brine covered and glorious Scottish isles. Today we head to Orkney to a distillery that most of you know very well. This is again one of those casks where the distillery must not be named from Claxton’s Independent bottlers. Claxton’s are based in England and have built a reputation for bottling exceptional casks in their iconic if not imposing flat and square bottles.

The distillery in question today was founded in 1798 and is in the far North in Kirkwall in the Orkney Island chain. Influenced by repeated Viking raids and eventual settlements the Orkneys have a very unique history as part of Scotland lore.

Not so Mysterious Orkney Distillery

Most expressions from this distillery are lightly peated so it will be interesting to see how this single cask compares to the prorietary bottlings.

Claxton’s Orkney 10 Year Old – Island – Bourbon Hogshead #1836-008A – 63% abv

Colour:          Lighter than anything that has gone before so far this edition. 18k gold.

Nose:             Lovely sweet barbequed, buttered corn on the cobb. Definite influence of some earthy peaty elements but they are wrapped in sweetness. Loving this hogshead influence on this nose. It’s a little on the delicate side which is a really good thing. The more sniff time I spend on it the better it gets. All of this and at 63%. No way in the wide world of sports would I think that this was 63%…….. ever. Great balance on this.

Palate:          Some tropical influence which comes as a bit of a surprise. Not quite ripe pineapple, citrus, but lighter lemony notes. The 63% really does not dominate at all and I find myself barely thinking about the abv or feeling it for that matter.

Finish:        The sweetness and fruit dominate the finish. I am still getting that creamy BBQ influenced sweetness that is somehow transforming itself into a corn on the cobb. This is a really new tasting note for me with Scotch but my brain cannot get past it.

This is a great example of how minimal oak influence can be outstanding in leaving a ton of nuanced flavors that would otherwise be swallowed up. Fantastic dram Claxton’s well done on the cask selection.

Last edition we had the A.D. Rattray Glen Moray 9 Year Old.

Just do it. Check out our guest Youtubers at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig.

Tomorrow we are heading to Islay for our first full on peaty experience of this edition from Douglas Laing. Buckle up boys and girls this is going to be fun.

This was a nice softening up process on the peat stakes before we set out to try and hurt you tomorrow. Hoping that you have been having a blast so far. It’s hard to believe that we are closing in on the half way mark already. It takes Cindy and I almost a whole year worth of work to put this together and it seems to go by so fast.

See you tomorrow lads and lassies.

Cheers

Jonathan

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 20 – Singlemalting # 217 – Single Cask Nation Stones of Stenness Orkney 18 Year Old

Welcome back everyone. Hopefully none of you died in yesterday’s hospital explosion. Today we are heading to Orkney for a visit to the Island region of Scotland. There are only 2 distilleries on Orkney, Scapa and Highland Park. We have had both distilleries represented in previous calendar editions but it is generally difficuly to find casks of either distillery for independent bottling. I’m going to give it up straight away because I know most of you would skip ahead to find out anyway. Highland Park is the distillery in question and as often happens the cask was sold to the boys at Single Cask Nation on the proviso that they keep the distillery name off the label. Interesting that they came up with Stones of Stenness as their name for this cask. The Stones of Stenness are said to be the oldest neolithic stone circle in the British isles and are located on Orkney.

Highland Park is the Northern most Scotland Distillery at present making whisky. Highland Park was founded in 1798 and is one of the few distilleries to this day that uses some locally sourced peat and heather that they use for fuel combining malted barley from mainland sources. It is owned by the Edrington Group and has been consistently releasing well received Single Malts for decades. They focus a lot on the Viking heritage of this Northern Island and their packaging is easily recognisable on whisky store shelves. Most of it’s production however still ends up at Glenturret to become the backbone of the Famous Grouse experience that drives the Edrington Scotch brands worldwide.

Highland Park Malting Floor
Highland Park

While not as peaty as whiskies from Islay there is no doubt that Highland Park has a lovely note of peat that runs through every whisky they produce. Lets see what this cask from Single Cask Nation is going to reveal.

Single Cask Nation Stones of Stenness Orkney 18 Year Old Single Malt – Refill Sherry Cask # 75 – Island – 54.9% ABV

Colour:     There is a subtle touch of amber to light red hue just hinting at the sherry influence. As a refill cask it took a full 18 years for even that tinge to show up.

Nose:         The peat influence here is light on the nose but no doubting the savoury overtones. Like the wafting smell of Cindy’s winter warming beef stew simmering away in the slow cooker. There is some denser salty note here as well. Dare I say even a touch of vegemite… Some sweet mesquite beef jerky.

Palate:       Mouth coating and the alcohol hit me as higher than I was expecting for mid 50’s. I took a brief pause and waded back in for another sip. Delicate for a cask strength Highland Park. That rich wine infused beef stew that I got on the nose is certainly front of mind and palate here. A heaping side plate of creamy mashed potatoes which is really interesting. It’s so amazing once the brain takes over and an expirential memory is served up that everything can then fall fully into that moment. A heavy pour of rich red wine splashed into this stew.

Finish:     Some lighter citrus notes hitting me here seemingly out of nowhere as this was all rich savoury but with a wine soaked undercurrent.

A surprisingly delicate dram for the Nation as my experience of their usual picks are more the bigger and more oily offerings. This is very cool to see from them and I’m digging it big time.

Thanks boys.

in the 4th edition on day 20 we had the delicious Exclusive Malts Cameronbridge 25 Year Old Single Grain.

Dont forget to head over to the Whiskey Vault and those crazy Dummies to see what they think.

Tomorrow as we head into the final run to Christmas we check out another dram from Hunter Laing with their Old Malt Cask range.

Fun times ahead ladies and gents so hold tight to your glasses.

Cheers

Jonathan