Highland Park Orkney 8 Signatory Vintage

Thanks to @scotchguy.to for sharing a dram of this with me.

There’s been a recent theme that myself (and TWS, oddly) has. You don’t need a super old whisky to have a super good whisky.

Yes, it’s hard to get to that complexity that older drams have. And when a blender/distiller has time to age a group of whiskies (or just one) well, they have more chance to remove those rough edges.

But we’ve all become the equivalent of grandpapa fuckers, constantly talking about loving these older and older drams and ignoring the younger ones.

Am I on an internet watch list yet? Why yes, but let’s move on.

Highland Park Orkney 8 Signatory Vintage is a single cask, young, light, no special treatment (not even sherry) independently bottled whisky. It’s not cask strength. If anything, it’s accountant’s strength. I am torn. My belief and push to not dismiss young malts or independent bottles are up against my sheer hatred of watering something down below 46%.

What am I to do? Other than realize this is a first world problem made worse by my feeling of utter powerlessness in life due to a pay-to-play life and therefore misguided anxiety applied to my hobby, of course. I mean, come on. Let’s just review this and bitch about it online, shall we?

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Island

Abv: 40%

Colour: 2.5Y 9/1

Nose: Tar, mint, cocoa, soap, jelly beans

Interesting. More strength of flavour than I was expecting. Reminds me of one of those hot chocolate soaps, actually. Like a good one that actually smells like the thing it’s aping.

Some sweets, some actual soap. Punching about it’s (alcohol by volume) weight.

Taste: Cocoa, mint, fuzzy peach, lime, salt

More mint, more cocoa. For all you After Eight Haters, not only do you have a cool rhyming name, but you also have a dram to avoid!

Youthful, but not in that “raw pinecone” way, more in that “everything is sweet and simple” way. Quite nice to sip on.

Finish: Cocoa, earth, cardamon, salt

Very spicy finish. Keeps with the salt and cocoa from before, but really doubles down on an earthy/spice thing. Nice, simple, fun.

Conclusion: Colour me surprised on this one. It’s not going to win any beauty contests, but it may win a game of monopoly. Jokes aside, I asked the question above: Should we try more young drams. And my answer is the usual: Yes. But does the abv. Cause issues this time, another whinge I’ve given before. This time, as one of the few, it worked. I don’t think watering this down lost it any complexity.

This is a mint hot chocolate easy sipping salt/peat combo. Pure and simple. I’d have it as a daily dram if it was still out there. Try some if you get the chance.

76/100

Scotch review #1108, Island review #121, Whisky review #1719

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