Coming close to the big ole review number 150, and well, I’m trying to review as many of the samples I’ve traded for as possible.
This sample comes from /u/krisjoon , who helped me do a mega swap along with his bro. Great guy, trade with him.
Anyway, we’ll be continuing my kick of Next Level malts with Highland Park 18. I thought it appropriate as I learned so much about Highland Park with my last week reviews, and wanted to see what the “one that is worth it” is all about.
What can I say about Highland Park that I didn’t say last time? We’ll, it’s located on Orkney, along with Scapa. They have won multiple medals in international spirit ratings competitions, mostly due to the care and quality of their drams.
Also the name. Could they have a more confusing name? Is it a Highland? Well no! It’s an Island! It’s named after an area called High Park. So why not name it High Park? Because fuck us, that’s why. Don’t want it getting mixed up with future Toronto parks that won’t be created for another 100ish years.
Well, let’s see if this confusingly named whisky tastes nice.
Colour: Dark Brown
Nose: Currant, smoke, sea salt, grapefruit, coal, chocolate, toffee
There’s… well, more everything on this one over the younger (12 and 15) Highland Parks. It has this amazing sherry influence, sea influence, and beefy smoke that reaches up and pulls out your nose hairs.
I could nose this for awhile, it opens up into a nice sweet treat.
Taste: Caramel, smoke, strawberry, passion-fruit, salt, cumin, ginger
Gone is the tomato flavour that I usually associate with Highland park, replaced by more of the smoke influence and some deep, thick flavours.
Wait, did I just say deep thick flavours? That sounds like I’m really into penis. In my mouth. What I mean is a rich, dark flavour.
Now it just sounds like I have a preference in dicks…. Moving on…
Finish: Smoke, chocolate, butter, strawberry, ginger, vanilla milkshake, basil
Have I mentioned there’s smoke in here yet? Because there’s a nice amount of smoke flavour. Like it was waiting around in the others and it takes 18 years to coax it out. Also quite sweet and buttery, like a pie.
I do like pie.
Conclusion: I smoked a chocolate cheesecake about a year ago, and it turned out tasty as heck. This is like that, except if I had drizzled it in strawberry coulis. Which after tasting this, I should have. But there’s always next time, as I didn’t leave the recipe out in the rain.
This is sweet, has a little less earthy components than the younger drams, and has a lot more smoke than I was expecting. I’d say that regardless of cost, buy this over the 15, as it’s really well made, well balanced, and tasty.
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