Highland Park – 1976

1976 HP.jpg
In the first part of this year WhiskySpeller travelled to Orkney to visit the Highland Park distillery. After a great tour Martin had some great drams lined up for us to taste. My eye caught a box saying 1976 – Highland Park… Being from that year and on the 23rd of November turning 40 years I wondered if this could be maybe a great dram to celebrate that with. So I asked Martin for a sample to take home and he kindly shared this beauty with me. Now I had to wait a couple of months before enjoying it, that proved to be the hard part…

What did I find on the nose? The heathery peat smoke notes at first that we know so well of this distillery and then mixed with canned fruit cocktail, sweet and sticky. Pastry and nutty notes appear, like almonds, macademia nuts, peanuts, marzipan and shaved ginger. Coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cocoa butter, some tropical and orchard fruits, coconut shavings, palm sugar blocks and dried/fried onions. Rich nose, with many layers in it, something sweet and sour, something greasy and spicy. You have to “poke” through the sour layer on the nose a bit, but then when you do, wow…

Moving on to the palate. Wow… Warm, rich, fudge, fruit, sweet, spices, tropical fruits, stone fruit and orchard fruits. Notes from the nose and so much more. Red grounded pepper, mocha, creme brulee, powdered sugar, marzipan, rich fruit cake, warm milk, raisin, dried apricots and cranberry. Some heather dryness and flower notes coming back in the end but not overpowering the fruit sweetness. It has a good length finish with a creamy feeling of fudge, marshmallows and warm chocolate milk.

This whisky is distilled in 1976 and bottled in 2011 at 49,1%, producing only 893 bottles. A whisky priced in a way I never could afford but without looking at that I score it very high and find it a great dram to celebrate a birthday with. Thanks so much for sharing it Martin! Much appreciated!

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