Country: Scotland – Islands Distillery: Highland Park Type: Single Malt Age: 17 Cask: First Fill Sherry ABV: 52.9% Proof: 105.8
Nose: Toasted almonds, dried fruits, ginger, fruit cake, heathery smoke of HP in a delicate way. Warm! Palate: Beautifully balanced oak, full bodied fruit sweetness , cinnamon, sherry notes dissolve to inner cheeks. Light smoky feeling at the back Finish: Long, refreshing, espresso beans with menthol, tobacco.
Names then gave they to noon and twilight,
morning they named, and the waning moon,
night and evening, the years to number.Voluspa, The Poetic Edda, Verse 6
Highland Park continues to conquer our hearts (at least my Nordic heart) with its Nordic heritage themed whiskies. In 2018 there will be two new releases from the distillery that we know so far and here is the first one, The Dark! Highland Park The Dark which celebrates autumn and winter on Orkney will be followed by Highland Park The Light, which will celebrate summer and spring.
Now let’s focus on The Dark. Highland Park The Dark is to appreciate the times to escape from the wild weather outside and gather together with friends and family, sharing long nights of conversation and laughter around the table, around the fire.
Honestly, the bottle and embossing is amazing. It will be hard for smart phone photographers to catch every detail, thus I suggest you to have a professional camera to capture a good photo of this one since there are only 28000 bottles.
Initially, appreciating The Dark is not the easiest thing. As most of the time I do for first fill sherry cask seasoned whiskies, I again gave a few minutes to let the whisky open and result was glorious!
Nose opens up in a really nice way giving you all the bold dried fruit and fruit cake aromas. Toasted almonds and nuts with a whimp of Highland Park’s signature smoke makes The Dark very warm and cozy!
Palate is the first amazing thing I have noticed about the whisky. Rich, creamy, pungent! Oak maturation for 17 years is balanced in a beautiful way where the sharp edges don’t exist. Sherry notes dissolving in the mouth with the light smoke is so intriguing and baking spices make this experience a beauty.
Finish was the longest part of my trip. It is lingering, long with espresso beans with menthol and tobacco earthiness. Such a richness!
The price tag is quite high, around $200-$250, The Dark is not for every budget, especially when there is Highland Park Full Volume which has just conquered the market with its price and performance ratio! Though it is beautifully crafted, hıgh proof and one-off product!
After trying Highland Park The Dark, I cannot wait for the Light to celebrate summer and spring.