…Someone who hasn’t tried it yet.
Let’s talk about Highland Park
There are currently five standard
Highland Park bottlings – a 12 ($47), 15 ($60), 18 ($100), 25 ($269) and a
30 ($350, a special limited-time price – normally $380)*
There are differences in the younger Highland Parks that transcend
the time spent in cask – both the 12 year old and the 18 year old are
the products of approximately 10% bourbon casks and 90% sherry casks, with 40-50% of the sherry casks being first fill. Both expressions have dried fruit flavors (raisins) with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves) and the expected sweet toffee and sherry flavors. The 18 is less peaty than the 12, but you can taste the connection between the two. I prefer the 18 year old.
The recently introduced 15 year old, on the other hand, is more than
just a price point between the 12 and 18 – being the product of roughly
50% sherry cask and 50% bourbon casks. As a result the 15 is a very
different whisky than its younger and older siblings – with more
vanilla, citrus and floral flavors than the 12 and 18. Quite tasty.
The 25 year old is produced from 10% bourbon casks and 90% sherry casks, with 55% of the sherry casks being first fill. Dried fruit – more wood – and after 25 years in wood the peat has been overwhelmed by the other rich flavors in the cask. It is full bodied and surprisingly bright for something so long in the cask. 50.7% ABV.
The 30 year old, introduced just last year, has a higher percentage of bourbon cask whisky in the mix, and the result is more distinct vanilla notes than the 25, and quite a bit more mellow. – 48.1% ABV.
If you haven’t tried Highland Park, you should as soon as possible. Highland Park consistently makes the top ten list of whisky lovers
around the world, and has won numerous awards and accolades within the industry – with good reason – it is an incredible whisky.
Let’s talk about cask 3262
This past Wednesday I traveled to Washington DC to attend a dinner & tasting
to celebrate the imminent release of a very limited bottling of
The tasting was led by the entertaining Caspar MacRae, brand ambassador for The Macallan – sister distillery of Highland Park – and included all of the Highland Park expressions mentioned above.
The Wine Specialist (a Washington DC purveyor with the best
selection of Single Malts in the DC metro area) commissioned Highland
Park for a special single cask/cask strength bottling – the choice was
cask 3262 – a second fill sherry oak cask. Distilled in 1981 and bottled (very recently) in 2006, this 25 year old
yielded 84 bottles at 47.9% ABV. Very rich and intense, sweet with citrus, florals, and lots of spice. A hint of salt and a hint of smoke.
There are now only 83 bottles in existence as one bottle was ravenously devoured by the dinner guests.
Now here is the kicker – the Wine Specialist 25 year old single cask/cask strength bottling is going for $219 – not only is it less expensive than the standard 25, but in my estimation it is even better.
My sources tell me that Highland Park is seriously considering doing away with the single cask bottling program, so who knows how long you have to grab bottling like these.
Only available from The Wine Specialist – Buy one now. (Contact Information below)
Now let’s talk about food
For the "Foodies" out there: the dinner took place at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse and was absolutely fantastic. All of the course were created using single malt scotch, and each course was accompanied by one of the Highland Park expressions.
Appetizers: Smoked Salmon with Horseradish and Single Malt Jelly; Tuna & Watermelon cubes with a Honey Malt glaze; Chicken skewers with Basil and single malt rub
First Course: Scotch Eggs over a Frezzie of bacon salad with sherry vinegar single malt dressing
Second Course: Mango & Walnut single malt sorbet
Main course: Braised short ribs of beef; Stuffed tomato confit of eggplant with single malt scotch demi-glaze
Dessert: Single malt creme brulee
The Wine Specialist
2115 M St. NW
Toll Free: (800) 832-0704
Hours: Mon – Sat, 10 – 9
Bobby Van’s Steakhouse
1201 New York Avenue
* prices from The Wine Specialist