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Posts Tagged ‘Highland Park Whisky’

Cocktail Hour: Blood and Sand

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2016

Mixing a cocktail with a Single Malt Whisky always brings out a few cat calls from persons who believe such a thing is sacrilege. However, having discussed the topic with more than a few of the master blenders and whiskey makers from Canada, Scotland (and elsewhere), I have found almost unanimous support for my point of view which is that a spirit of any quality may be the focus of a cocktail. In fact, ‘the better the spirit, the better the cocktail’ is a sentiment I hear often. With that in mind I have chosen to follow my chosen path and bring together a classic Scotch whisky cocktail, Blood and Sand, with the highly regarded Single Malt, the Highland Park 12 Year Old.

Blood and Sand (the cocktail) was apparently named for the Rudolph Valentino 1922 bullfighter movie of the same name. The connection is by no means certain, as the first printed recipe for the bar drink did not appear until 8 years later in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930).  The Savoy Cocktail Book’s recipe calls for equal parts orange juice, scotch whisky, cherry brandy and Italian vermouth which makes the bar drink easy for both the home and the profession bartender to master.

Today, it is common to see recipes which replace the orange juice with the juice of the Blood Orange. Not only does this play nicely with the name of the cocktail, but the tart, almost raspberry-like flavour of the blood orange is complimentary to the bar drink making it slightly drier (and to me more appealing). When a high quality peated single malt whisky is used as well, the Blood and Sand becomes a wonderful wintertime cocktail.

For my suggested construction, I tweaked the ratios slightly to increase the light punch of smoke and to further limit the sweetness of the serving. This of course allows the Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky to be the star of the libation.

Blood and SandBlood and Sand

3/4 oz Highland Park 12 Year Old
5/8 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Rosso)
5/8 oz Cherry Brandy (Bols)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
ice
Orange Zest or Peel (optional)

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with orange peel (optional)

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

Note: a new review based upon a recently acquired bottle of Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky will publish tomorrow.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

# 32 Highland Park 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 23, 2015

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.

HP 25The Highland Park 25 Year Old Whisky is blended with up to 50 per cent of  its whisky coming from the matured (1st refill) Spanish oak, 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.

Here is a link to the review of the #32 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#32 – Highland Park 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

“… caramelized butterscotch toffee, sweeter underlying sugars, and a floral peat rich with heather, citrus, damp spruce moss, and humus. As more of the scents separated in the air I was reminded of mildly boggy saw-grass growing in a damp lowland meadow below a field of ripe alfalfa and timothy growing in the early fall just before cutting. (This place I am describing is a real memory from my childhood days on the farm. The Highland Park Whiskies always seem to evoke these early memories from my youth …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 32 Highland Park 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Review: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2012

The Highland Park Distillery traces its heritage back to 1798 where it was apparently founded by Magnus ‘Mansie’ Eunson, a local butcher, beadle (lay official of the church) and part-time smuggler. (The association with Magnus Eunson is by no means certain but it does provide a wonderful back story for the distillery.)  The 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.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial sip of the HP 18 brings forward a dollop of smoky peat melded almost perfectly with the butterscotch-toffee flavour of malt whisky. At first this seems slightly sweeter than the other expressions of Highland Park I have tasted; although as the glass is allowed to breathe, the flavours become drier and woodier in the glass…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Review: Highland Park 12 Year Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 13, 2012

I bought my first bottle of Highland Park Whisky about 4 years ago when I began to my serious exploration of different whisky styles from other parts of the world besides Canada. Although I was familiar to some degree with blended Scotch and Single Malts, I was suspicious of this particular whisky as the back of the package clearly indicated “Aromatic Peat” which, to be honest, did not sound appealing at all. However, I was assured of the quality of this brand by the owner of the liquor store I had stopped at.  He even gave me small sample to belay my fears.

Of course by now the Highland Park 12 Year Old is a mainstay of my liquor cabinet. When I have a guest over who is suspicious of peated whisky (like I was), I give them a little sample of this whisky first. On more than one occasion my guest has wandered over to the liquor store on his own a few days later and picked up his own bottle.

The Highland Park Distillery has a great website, and you should give it a read as it contains a plethora of information about not only their fine whisky but also the history and heritage of their unique locale in the Highlands of Scotland.

Here is an excerpt from my original review written over 2 years ago:

“…When I was young I would have to wake up early in the mornings, and go walk about a mile into the pastureland to bring the cows home for milking.  Our pasture was in a lowland muddy creek bottom, where the soil was rich in peat and sawgrass. I smell that boggy, muddy creek bottom in the glass when I fill it with Highland Park Whisky…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Highland Park 12-Year-Old Whisky

Cheers!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Highland Park 12 Year Single Malt Whisky

Review: Highland Park 40 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 2, 2011

The Highland Park 40 year Old is a relative newcomer to the Highland Park portfolio having been released in 2008 as the premier production whisky in the Brand line-up.  This is not a one-off bottling which will disappear when the stocks run dry, but instead an extremely limited yearly bottling. Like the Highland Park 30 Year Old Whisky, this 40-year-old is matured in refill sherry oak casks. The aim is to ensure that the long-term aging does not cause the oak to dominate the whisky in a deleterious manner.

It  is a rare treat to be allowed to sample a 40-year-old whisky. The effects of the long-term aging in oak should reverberate through the whisky, and at 48.3 percent alcohol by volume this spirit will be a challenge to approach. Thus, it is with a little trepidation that I begin.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Highland Park 40 Year Old Whisky

Please enjoy the review!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Review: Highland Park 40 Year Old Whisky

Review: Highland Park 30 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 26, 2011

I returned this week to that selection of sample jars given to me from the personal collection of  J. Leslie Wheelock, (a member of the Alberta Beam Global team).  These samples showcase an impressive range of unique whiskies from Canada, Scotland, and the USA.  This week I dipped into the samples and chose Sample Jar # 9, Highland Park 30 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey.

Unlike the previously reviewed Highland Park 25 Year Old Whisky which is produced with a high percentage of the whisky coming from 1st fill Sherry Casks; the Highland Park 30 Year Old Whisky is produced with all of the whisky coming from refilled Sherry Casks. This change in the style of maturation serves to dampen the effect of both the oak and the sherry influence upon the whisky. This should allow the Orcadian peat to have a greater effect upon the flavour and character of the final whisky. Like the 25 Year Old Highland Park, this whisky is bottled at 48.1 per cent alcohol by volume. The combination of long-term aging and higher bottling strength should provide a whisky which will be somewhat intimidating, but also one which should be full of flavour and nuances that will linger in the palate long after the whisky is consumed.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…I was not prepared for the treat that greeted my nostrils when I opened my sample container which held the Highland Park 30-year-old. In fact, it was as if I was transported back in time…”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Highland Park 30 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Highland Park 30 Year Old

Whiskey Review: Highland Park 12 Year Scotch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 19, 2009

I bought my first bottle of Highland Park Whisky about 2 years ago when I began my exploration of whiskies from other parts of the world besides Canada.  I was suspicious of the whisky as the back of the package clearly indicated “Aromatic Peat”, but I was assured of the quality of this brand by the owner of the liquor store I had stopped at.  He even gave me small sample to belay my fears.

Now this brand is a mainstay of my liquor cabinet.  When I have a guest over who is suspicious of peated whisky, I try them on this one first.  Usually it is the only one they need to try as they quickly run to the liquor store to grab a bottle for themselves.

Highland Park Distillery has a great website and you should give it a read as it contains a plethora of information about not only their whiskies but also the history and heritage of their unique locale in the Highlands of Scotland.

Here is a link to their website: Highland Park Distillery:

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…When I was young I would have to wake up early in the mornings, and go walk about a mile into the pastureland to bring the cows home for milking.  Our pasture was in a lowland muddy creek bottom, where the soil was rich in peat and sawgrass.   I smell that boggy muddy creek bottom in the glass when I fill it with Highland Park Whisky…”

Read the full review here:

Review: Highland Park 12 year old Whisky

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Whiskey Review: Highland Park 12 Year Scotch

 
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