Our Davide, the Germanophile column of whiskyfacile, has been working since a few months with the most important whisky shop in Munich, Tara Spirits, providing the owner Randy with his expertise in the extraordinary field of “communication”. One of the side effects of this collaboration is that often little samples of whisky cross the threshold of the store, pass a few borders and end up – uh, what a coincidence – in our glasses. Like the 21-year-old Glenfiddich Millennium tasted a few days ago, this 25-year-old Highland Park bottled in the 1990s (cask strength!) comes from an excellent Bavarian tasting. The color that shines from the Glencairn is a copper veined golden.
N: welcomes us a wide, warm, open profile. Immediately very multifaceted. It strikes in the foreground a sophisticated and fragrant minerality, reminiscent of the wax of a candle melting on a slate altar, in one of those Romanesque churches that carry in the air a memory of incense. Ah: probably this church is on the sea: you can hear a deep note of iodine and salt. Let’s not forget a side that is more traditionally linked to the raw material: apple (french “alle” cake), honey, malt. A memory of orange peel opens up the most classic of synesthesias: grandmother’s kitchen (made of fruit, spices, pastry aromas).
P: in the mouth it’s velvety and full, and definitely very intense. The minerality perceived on the nose makes its way immediately, even more decisive here; and a soul of peat emerges as well, or more precisely a hint of smoke (the one of a field fire going out). The influence of sherry casks gives a lovely note of cocoa bean, and a lovely Christmas composition of dried fruit – starting with fig, and ending with walnut. As much as it’s almost “behind the scenes”, just before the grand finale, a fruity side peeks out, which here is citrus (chocolate orange and chocolate) and perhaps apricot. A very balanced sweetness, playing with peat and dried fruit..
F: cigar tobacco, an elegant peatiness and a pleasant mix of black pepper and spices (dare we say cardamom) linger for a long time and leave, at the end, a memory of wax.
A majestic whisky, perfect in its balance and elegance of yesteryear. Unfortunately it is now difficult to find on the shelves. So a question arises: are the new editions of this 25-year-old from Orkney as good? We sampled a little more recent one here, but we are missing at least a couple of subsequent releases. Speaking of which, if there’s any kind soul out there willing to put an end to this serious lack, we can let you know our humble opinion…. In the meantime, settle for this: 92/100.
Recommended soundtrack: The Be Good Tanyas – Waiting Around to Die.