SMWS 4.211 “Sun, Sand, Surf and Serenity” (Highland Park 24) Review

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.


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