Thursday, June 25, 2015
Old Standbys: Highland Park 18
Sometimes it's good to go back to basics. Highland Park 18 year old has long been a staple of single malt lovers everywhere. It was one of the whiskeys I tried early on that really turned me on to Scotch, but like many of those old favorites, I haven't tried it in quite a while, passing it up instead for flashy new releases. The price of this one has gone up over the years making it less of a staple and more of a splurge. Nonetheless, I thought it was time to try a current edition of the old standby.
Highland Park 18 yo, 43% abv ($130)
The nose brings me back to all those nights with Highland Park. It's got well balanced malt and peat with some fruity notes in the background. The palate is grassy with just a touch of peat and maybe a bit of sulfur. The finish is salty with some very light sherry on the nose.
Is this everything it once was? It's hard to say as I didn't have the opportunity to do a side by side with an earlier batch. It doesn't have quite as much complexity of mouthfeel as I remember, but even if it's not everything it once was (and hardly anything is), it's still a good, balanced malt. It has elements of peat, sherry and bourbon cask malt with none being overly dominant. I'm glad to see it's still such a reliable, drinkable malt, and I'd still recommend it without hesitation.