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Whisky Review: Highland Park 25 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2011

The Highland Park Distillery is located in the Highlands of Scotland on the Island of Orkney which is famous for its heather rich meadows and its  unique organic Orcadian peat. At this distillery, all of the Highland Park Whisky is matured in two styles of oak barrels which are stored in warehouses with earthen floors and stone walls. Some of the whisky is matured in Spanish (Sherry) oak, and some of the whisky is matured in American (Bourbon) oak.  Maturing the whisky in two different styles of oak allows the blender to capture characteristics of each in the final blend.

The Highland Park 25 Year Old Whisky is blended with slightly more of its whisky coming from the matured Spanish oak (about 51%), and it is bottled at 48.1 per cent alcohol by volume. This is a full 20 % higher than the 40 per cent bottling strength we typically see in North America. The combination of the higher bottling strength and a larger portion of Spanish oak whisky in the blend will bring forward a stronger more assertive aroma and flavour than the other whiskies in the Highland Park portfolio, and may even make the whisky a little intimidating at first tasting. On the whole I really like higher strength whiskies, but I approach them with caution as it is easy to sip a little to quickly.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…When you chew through the peat, some sweetness kicks in with raw honeycomb and a sweet caramelized  butterscotch toffee which is trending towards treacle. The whisky continues to be spicy in the mouth as ginger, nutmeg and hints of cinnamon and cloves seem to materialize out of the oak spices and tannins….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Highland Park 25 Year Old Whisky


In order to provide another opinion, this review has been published in conjunction with Jason Debly’s review of the same whisky on his website, Jason’s Scotch Whisky Reviews. (We did not share any information prior to publication.) Jason is an outstanding writer and whisky reviewer and you will find a link to his review at the bottom of my review page.

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