Whisky Focus - Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old Review

Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old Review

8th February 2018
Review of Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old.

Highland Park The Dark 17 Year OldReleased at the end of last year and with the hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Year this one just may have sneaked under your radar, Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old is the first of a pair of new limited releases from the Orkney distillery.

The Dark is a release of 28,000 bottles which have been bottled to celebrate the autumn and winter months on Orkney, it has been matured in sherry seasoned European oak casks and bottled at a very palatable 52.9% ABV, for my thoughts on it see my review below.

Highland Park The Dark will be followed in the spring of this year by Highland Park The Light, which will celebrate the spring and summer months on Orkney. Details of The Light have yet to be revealed, all I can say at the moment is that both editions aim to tell the story of the contrasting seasons on Orkney and should make a very interesting head to head comparison tasting that is if they bottle The Light at the same age and strength.

The Dark is presented in a black glass bottle, with the bottle and packaging reflecting Orkney's Norse and Viking ancestry. The bottle is accompanied by a booklet describing the thinking behind the Norse and Viking design on the packaging as well as of course the whisky in the bottle.

Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old has a retail recommend price of 190 and you will currently find it available from specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Enticing dark sherried fruit, blackberries and sultanas. A touch of toasty oak, a little cinnamon and the very faintest whiff of smoke and touch of honey hiding in the background.

Taste: Deliciously sweet and spicy rich sherried oak. The blackberries and sultanas from the nose are joined by some orange, there is some sweetness which is balanced by some dark coffee. Cinnamon and a little nutty marzipan and just the faintest touch of smoke adding to the pleasure.

Finish: Longish, earthy, dark chocolate infused with very light peat smoke, lingering light oaky tones.

Comment: The European oak sherry seasoned casks have lent a lovely sherry richness to this mature Highland Park, it is undoubtedly a quality sherried Highland Park, not a sherried monster but a delicious medium sherried Highland Park which still lets the quality of the spirit they produce in Orkney shine through. For me Highland Park begins to get exceedingly good around this age and this is no exception and the bottling strength of 52.9% ABV just adds to the pleasure. The finish could have been a little longer but that is easily remedied with another mouthful.

If your pockets are deep enough and you are a Highland Park fan I have no doubt you will enjoy this.

SMW Score 92/100

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