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Highland Park 30 yo (1981/2012, Silver Seal for Whisky Live Taipei, 51,4%)

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Yesterday we tasted a spectacular Highland Park bottled by Silver Seal and we warned our beloved readers that another one was going to arrive soon. Here it is: Highland Park matured for 30 years in a sherry cask, selected by Max Righi for Taipei Whisky Live, in partnership with Emmanuel Dron, owner of the impressive Auld Alliance whisky bar in Singapore. Dron and Righi have been immortalized during the launch of this very limited edition of 120 bottles and 42 magnum, and you can recognize them here in the picture. Do they look happy for the bottling or for the nice company? Colour is copper.

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N: the alcohol is super gentle. Extreme complexity, beginning with typical mineral notes, integrated in a wider divine pattern, constantly changing. Peat, damp earth, rubber eraser; then, an infinite range of aromatic herbs and spices (cinnamon, gentian, eucalyptus: it reminds us of vermouth). Cola. Later, coffee (even Tiramisù), elegant red berries (strawberry, sour cherry); dried figues, honey, caramel, even cane sugar. Truly enchanting, we get new sensations every sniff. Candied orange! Pipe’s tobacco!

P: the mineral side recedes, in favour of an increasing smokiness and of majestic vegetal suggestions (tea leaves – are we sipping Earl Grey tea, bergamot flavored? -, rhubarb, ginger, eucalyptus). Meanwhile, a deep sweetness emerges, spinning our head: orange marmelade, sugared coffee, chocolate, red fruits (blackberries and cherries), chinotto. Astonishing. Intensity and complexity at the top.

F: intense, long and persistent. Very smoked (flavoured pipe’s tobacco); then ripe fruits, caramel, rhubarb. Wow.

A great, great, great whisky. Spiced and herbal notes are perfectly integrated with an amazing fruity sweetness and with the traditional HP minerality. Indeed, it’s constantly evolving, nevertheless it preserves a particular consistency, making it same and different at every sip. Highland Park at its best: 94/100. We wonder if there’s still a bottle around Europe. And how much could it be…

Recommended soundtrack: celebrating Far East…

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