This is a 24 year Highland Park from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. It was matured in a refill hogshead and bottled at 52.2% ABV. This is the first non-sherried Highland Park I’ve had, so it will be interesting to see the characteristics of its malt without that sherry influence.
Nose: Very oak forward given there is no sherry to hide behind. Brown sugar and lavender with a very floral profile overall. Stale vanilla and subtle brine round emerge after a bit.
Palate: Sugary and floral on entry followed by a chewy malt wrapped in old, dry oak.
Finish: Musty, dry oak with cinnamon. Relatively short and bitter overall.
Rating: 89/100 – It’s certainly a different beast than other HPs I’ve had without their typical sherry influence. I really enjoyed the strong floral notes, but the palate (and especially finish) were just a bit weaker than I was hoping. Maybe there’s a reason they are typically sherry finished….
Value for the money: This was $190 on the SMWS shop which isn’t terrible given the Highland Park 25 OB has climbed upwards of $500 in most places. I don’t regret buying at that price, but I wouldn’t buy another.