Highland Park 18
T his whiskey, in my opinion, is a staple, like having bread, milk, eggs, and beer in the house (milk is an option) and it should have a spot in any whiskey lover’s cabinet. That’s the love part of this relationship. In the past two years, it has doubled in price from roughly $54.00 to right at $100.00 — that’s the hate part of this relationship. If you want to get a rise out of me or get in a long debate, just ask me what I think of the escalating prices on premium whiskeys. In the past 5-10 years, the eastern emerging markets like Russia, China, and India have started drinking more single malt scotch and American bourbon. This has driven the demand to the point where distilleries can’t keep up, and this is driving the price through the ceiling, not to mention the limited allocations of some whiskeys to distributors/retail outlets which make finding certain whiskeys nearly impossible. I will leave this subject alone for now and give a full report at a later time.
This Scotch is a great balance of what I personally like in a Scotch whiskey. It’s one of two whiskeys distilled on the Orkney Islands, Scapa being the other one (non-Islay malts). The nose on this comes across as slightly smoky with spicy honey notes and maybe even a little chocolate. When it hits your mouth, the sweetness comes to the surface immediately, then the peat opens up, but not as much as the nose would lead you to believe. It finishes almost like it starts, with a warm, fruity spicy note that adds to the overall experience. I normally drink this one neat but occasionally put in ½ cube of ice. This would be considered a classic whiskey by anyone’s standard and would be one by which most other whiskeys could be measured.
I have read at least one pro’s review on this whiskey as being “the best spirit in the world.” I am guessing that might have been a solicited remark. While I won’t call it the best in the world, I will certainly say it’s a whiskey that is worthy of “Great Whiskey”…………….
Distillery: Highland Park
Age: 18 years
Cost: $89. It’s available in most stores in the area for $90.00-$109.00
Purchased: North Augusta Wine & Beverage
Comments: Highland Park 18 would impress the most advanced whiskey lover and is a great starter for the beginner. If you don’t have a bottle, make it your next purchase; you will be glad you did.