If you are on top of things, you know that the Italian whisky blogography has recently seen the addition of a new entry, whiskysucks.com, thanks to the providential sensory impressions of our friend Federico. A few months ago we had exchanged some samples: today we face a very intriguing one, a Highland Park of 1990 aged in a refill-sherry cask until last year, when Signatory Vintage decided to bottle it. The color is amber.
N: it has that severe opening, typical of HP noses: there is like a salty, mineral screen, under which there is another whisky… Firstly, intense notes of orange (a lot of peel) and citrus in general (we would say lemon, of course, and a faint suggestion of chinotto). Very clean profile, a little restrained, almost; a little dried fruit (almond) and yellow fruit (apricot?); vanilla, sponge cake, raisins.
P: a completely different intensity, a completely different personality. At the beginning it seems almost ‘naked’, while it gradually develops various and decisive flavours. The Pantheon is the same as the nose: it is dominated by orange, citrus; there is an intense acrid and mineral peat; there is a very tropical note, delicious and unexpected (pineapple?). More fruity than on the nose, definitely. A pinch of water is not bad, giving notes of pepper and a hint of hazelnut.
F: intense peat; very clean and dry, even if there is no lack of small excursions in the tropical territories.
Very good, definitely, composed as only Highland Park can be. We must admit we indeed love this kind of whisky profile. To a really sumptuous palate corresponds a nose maybe too much restrained: actually, if we had to find a defect we would say that it always seems about to explode in a sensorial triumph, but it never makes that extra step. Our vote will be 87/100, in any case; and the next time we see each other, Federico, we’ll ask you for another sample…
Recommended soundtrack: Mina – Whisky, what are we talking about?