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HIGHLAND PARK 30 YO (2011, OB, 48,1%)

To close in a crescendo this week focused on Highland Park, today we taste the “older” expression of its core range, the 30 yo. Yes, we know there are a 40 yo and a 50 yo, but they’re definetely too much for us. We need you beloved readers to buy a bottle and send us a sample… Until that improbable moment, we settle for the 30 yo. The colour is amber.

N: orange flavoured chocolate, golden apple and a lot of oak (even cork); evident wax and honey notes. A light and delicious smokiness is recognizable. Candied fruits, sultanas and a floreal hint (heather?) that mix the sherry profile up. The long maturation rounded and softened the malt, without making it too heavy or unbalanced. Some nutmeg and pipe tobacco add complexity. Red fruits, too. With time, the oakiness is getting more ponderous (are you familiar with the cut wood left in the sun?), but it doesn’t overwhelm the huge range of flavours described. An elegant nose, with lively and delicate aromas.

P: it’s gorgeous. It’s like a cigar: spicy (pepper) and rather smoky. Later, it shows a pronounced fruity sweetness: ripe citrus fruits, raisins, red fruits and hazelnuts. Natural caramel, vanilla and again bitter chocolate with orange. There’s also a super-ripe tropical fruits note, but it can hardly be defined. Menthol, too.

F: it’s creamy, like whip or créme caramel, and quite persistent. Minty and balsamic notes, then hazelnuts and sour cherries. It’s consistent and powerful from the very beginning to the end. A honeyed sweetness gently covers your mouth.

A great classic, showing a wonderful balance between different elements and an increasing intensity of flavours. It’s a “typical” whisky, but to the Nnth degree: it’s perfect ordinariness! It deserves 90/100. One last account: comparing to the 18 yo, 2 extra points are worth the extra price of 280 euro? Mmm…

Recommended soundtrack: Blue Oyster CultAstronomy, from Secret Treaties.

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