Whisky Focus - Highland Park Full Volume Review

Highland Park Full Volume Review

24th November 2017
Highland Park turn up the first fill bourbon volume with Highland Park Full Volume.

Highland Park Full VolumeHighland Park Full Volume is the latest limited edition release from the Orkney distillery.

Full Volume was distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2017 making it around 18 years old. Rather uniquely for a Highland Park whisky it was matured using 100% first fill bourbon casks, a combination of 481 casks were used, 200 litre barrels and 250 litre hogsheads, they were filled at strengths of between 63.6% and 63.7%. Full Volume was chill filtered at just over 4C and bottled in 2017 at 47.2% ABV.

Now the use of 100% first fill bourbon casks is a bit of a clue to where the name Full Volume came from, it is telling us that Highland Park Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, has turned up the volume of the first fill bourbon casks that has gone into the new expression to 100%, no traditional sherry seasoned casks have been used.

The Highland Park fans amongst you will know that the distillery usually has a good story behind each of its whiskies but to promote the new Highland Park Full Volume they have done something a little different, they have teamed up with Saul Davies from the band James.

Saul put a band together which included Marcus Cordock on bass guitar, Luke Marc Hughes on drums and Ewan Malloch on lead guitar. Marcus is an Orkney man himself, and he organises the Orkney Blues Festival held every September in Stromness, so there is some genuine Viking soul in the band and music, as well as in the whisky.

Saul put together a track entitled "Full Volume" at the famous Gorbals sound studio in Glasgow, it is a tribute to the early days of rock music recording and its a fitting reflection of the whiskys packaging design, inspired by the classic guitar amps of the 60s and 70s. HP considered what to do with the track and as well as using it as a backing track for some of the promotional videos for the whisky which you will find on YouTube (including the video below) they cut 1,000 limited edition 7 inch vinyl singles which they are giving to the first 1,000 buyers of Highland Park Full Volume.

Considering the price of the Highland Park 18 year old, 80 for the limited edition Highland Park Full Volume distilled in 1999 is a good deal and having tasted it I would say it is an very good deal. The Highland Park Full Volume is available to Highland Park Inner Circle members via the Highland Park web site and you will also find the current Highland Park whisky range available from specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

Highland Park Full Volume Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose:  Enticing creamy sweet vanilla fudge and barley sugar, a touch of lemon citrus and a little oak.

Taste: A delicious barley sugar candy sweetness, lemon and vanilla, a touch of coconut and a lovely very light touch of Highland Park smoke and oak spice hanging around the background.

Finish: Long, a delicious tussle between the oak and barley sugar, more creamy vanilla and lemon citrus, a touch of red liquorice.

Comment: Have I said delicious already, loved it from the nose to the lovely long lingering finish. With no sherry influence on this whisky, Full Volume really does show what a high quality whisky they produce at Highland Park. I would love to see a Highland Park 100% first fill bourbon matured expression in the core range but until then grab yourself a bottle of Full Volume.

SMW Score 94/100

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