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Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Highland Park 18 yo (OB, 43%)

This whisky comes from the Northernmost Scottish distillery, on Orkney Islands. It’s a perfect exemple of balance and complexity, in the middle of the core range between young malts (12 and 15 yo) and maturity (25, 30 and 40 yo).

N: everything and more from the very first sniff. Suddenly the (usual) pear, with a slight acidic note, between citrus and Granny Smith apple. Delightful toffee and butter flavours. After few minutes, the spirit starts to breathe and it causes an olfactory uproar: dried fruits and the aroma of that perfumed fruit basket on your mother dinner table.

P: acidic and fruity notes, with the sherry influence (nuts) playing the lead part. A delicious taste of wood – lightly smoky and delicately peaty – emerges. On the palate is less sweet, comparing to the nose, even if a hint of honey is recognizable. It tends to dry your mouth and the flavours range converges to a pleasant and harmonious oaky peatiness.

F: medium long and medium intensity. A toffee background cuddles your tongue as the smoky oak persistence does (licorice?). There’s a last surprise: at the end your lips are salty, extreme present from the Northern sea…

The ex-sherry casks’ influence is delicate, but it makes this whisky extremely tasty (the distillery invests more than 10 million pounds on casks selection…). The intense and persistent notes resulting from the maturation are enhanced by the maritime character of the malt: a light smokiness and iodine sensations. The peatiness is peculiar: on Orkney Islands there are no threes, so the peat itself is unique. This malt is a must have, also because it’s rather affordable. It’s impossible to get sick of it, with all the different sensations it provides during the tasting. 88/100 for us.

Recommended soundtrack: The knife Pass this on, dall’album Deep Cuts.

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