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Highland Park 18 yo (1996/2015, Malts of Scotland per Spirit of Scotland, 56,8%)

We’re traveling back in time today, but only of a few weeks: we’re magically in Eur, in the Spirit of Scotland Whisky Festival… We’re tasting two of the most appreciated bottlings of the whole show, both Highland Parks. The very first one was “the host”, since it’s a single cask bottled by the german Malts of Scotland for the roman whisky show. We suspect that Max Righi may have had a little part in this selection, since he’s the Italian importer of Malts of Scotland and, thank to Whisky & Co, he put more than a foot in the Rome whisky scene…

Schermata 2015-04-27 alle 14.48.05

N: monstrously well structured and with an evolution that reveals all its complexity only after a while. The very first impact is wonderfully coastal, with heather, brine, green shrubs; then you get a vegetal peat, with a growing hint of smoke; and there’s also a neverending fresh buttery note. After some time, our senses are hit by a bold, massive sugary note, from marzipan to citrus jam, from apricots to honey – everything is perfectly balanced with the rest. Vanilla, white chocolate. Stunning. And there’s also some green bananas, some tropical things, then almost candy floss…

P: boom! The explosive – but elegant – start seems to enshrine a predominance of a proud character spirit-oriented, with a hard peat, an untamed coastal breeze, some mineral and waxy notes; we also detect a growing smokiness. But Saint Single Cask makes the miracle, showing a battery of fruit bombs (someone says banana, someone coconut; dried apricots are undisputable). Show is completed by malt, cereals, nutmeg and a dash of black pepper. And lemon? Yes, there’s lemon too; just the two unicorns you don’t see.

F: perfect harmony between the two complex identities of his dram: wax and peat and candle smoke; marzipan and banana and cereals.

We’re waiting for the second Higland Park to give a structured comment: for now we only want to smell the empty glass, and in the drama of regret we sigh our 93/100. Bravo Spirit of Scotland, and bravo Pino Perrone!

Recommended soundtrack: The National – Graceless.

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