Friday, February 20, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #336

Highland Park 23yo (1984)
SMWS 4.128
"Bruised pears on a ground sheet"

Single Cask
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
52.1% abv

Another "week" here on the mission. Even though I am no longer able to keep posting at a Monday-Friday daily rate, I still enjoy bundling them in groups of five by theme as I have done since the beginning of this mission; sort of mini tastings or flights that help me arrage the order here on the mission.

Now begins a week of independent bottlings.

Although the SMWS website indicates that this is from the region of Campbeltown, I assure you that Highland Park is in the Orkney islands. But that it is only error on an otherwise beautiful revamped website. The re-branding of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society began just before I became their Ambassador in 2007 and they seem to have done an outstanding job recreating the look of the SMWS with new bottles, new fonts, new website and images. Of course, one whisky nerd's opinion is not enough (sorry, brothers and sisters) and only they know if it has been a successful investment of creativity, time, and of course, money.

For all Highland Parks had on the Malt Mission click


Musty and humid, earthy and fruity like apples on the orchard floor. A very perfumy peat, floral and musky.

Begins sweet like some kind of syrup or sweet fruit vinegar reduction. Candied plums and extinguished candles. Turns smoky, or more like exhaust from a generator at a fair. Ends juicy and nutty leaving a real desire for me to have another sip.


Even at 52% abv this dram demanded no water before allowing me to fully inhale its aromas. It was also completely palatable at full strength. With a wonderful spread of flavours from cold musty cellars to humid days at the sea balanced with fruit and flowers this initially nosed like an aged blend. To taste, however, showed an utterly unique style of peatiness only available at one distillery, the one the Emperor of Russia and the King of Denmark in 1883 "pronounced it to be the finest they had ever tasted."

Malt Mission #335
Malt Mission #337
Malt Mission #338
Malt Mission #339
Malt Mission #340

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